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Lesson learned: the painful way

With those vital miles in his legs from riding l’ Etape, club secretary Peter Weaver decided to ride the East Sussex Cycling Association 100.
Over to Peter, who wrote: “My ‘reasonable expectation’ was to get somewhere close to five hours, with an unspoken hope to dip inside.
“The pre-race plan was to take it easy for the first 50, keeping the average down to 20mph, and then try to hang on for the second half.
“When day dawned it was obviously going to be a good one and I set off for the start with high hopes.
“Despite definitely holding myself back I was amazed to reach 25 miles in 1hr 13min 30sec, quicker than I wanted but it had been effortless. I concentrated on holding back.
“I picked up a bottle from Carolyn at 40 miles, still about three minutes quicker than 20mph, riding easily and starting to believe that five hours was possible.
“It was shortly after this that a simple schoolboy error reared its very ugly head.
“When I returned from l’ Etape I found that the tri-bars on my TT bike seemed high so I dropped them by 12mm to ride the P164/10 last week, and they felt great.
“But it hadn’t occurred to me that a new position for 10 miles might not work for 100 miles!
“My lower back muscles started to tighten up and although I reached 50 miles in 2hr 28min they were going into spasm and could only be relaxed by sitting up occasionally.
“By 65 miles it was impossible to get down on the tri-bars.
“I rode the last 35 miles sat bolt upright, looking like a tourist on a TT bike!
“Although I kept working hard the totally un-aero position meant that the last 25 miles took 1hr 25min.
“It seemed a lot longer as I watched the five hour mark go by and still had three or four miles to go.
“I finished in 5hr 13min 15sec.
“The winner was Rob Pelham of Lewes Wanderers in 3-54-52.
“The VTTA winner was Brian Camfield of Stone Wheelers with a ‘plus’ of 1hr 2min 3sec, compared with my ‘plus’ of 13 seconds!”

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