A day of cycling. Possibly too much cycling, if that is ever possible.
Anna and I rolled out early with the other sportive riders on the Colchester CTC 100. As the name suggests, 100km was plotted into the route map.
Add in the short spin from home to the signing on point, plus a little detour when the Garmin decided to send us down a private road, and you have 117km.
It wasn't the longest ride of the summer for me, but it was probably about 40km or so over my threshold for not becoming a mardy arse.
I think that Anna cracked after the first 50km.
We rolled out around ten minutes behind the peloton.
"We'll soon catch them"
...I enthusiastically declared as I took my time on the front.
About 40km in and we hadn't passed a single rider.
We actually thought for a short while that we were riding the Garmin route in reverse, such was our perceived speed, yet oddly no other riders.
And then we made the junction and landed the catch of a mini-peloton of hardcore lycra lads.
I was feeling particularly strong and put my foot down hard on the pedals. I was leading the group for around ten minutes, thinking that they had tucked behind my back wheel as a sign of respect.
It turns out that they had been lost all morning and just wanted to follow a rider that had a reliable GPX route.
Bugger this for a Sunday morning. I 'aint nobody's domestique, especially not for the lard arse lycra lad who thought that it was extra hard to ride within cm's of my rear wheel.
I deliberately slowed down the pack, and then waited for them to feel impatient and jump ahead.
And then there were two once again.
We hit the mid-way point and stopped for luncheon at the simply delightful Finchingfield. Last time we rode through here there was some other bicycle race taking place...
That truly wonderful July day when Le Tour passed through Essex will always be associated with Finchingfield.
I hate to say... legacy, but it does seem that something of a cycling culture is springing up in the town.
We pressed on for the final stretch, weary that the CTC 100 3pm cut off point was starting to come alarmingly close.
The last hour or so in the saddle was particularly painful.
We both has a WTF moment as we cycled past some rural field with a major sporting event taking place: The Essex Ploughing Championships.
Around two dozen tractors were competing. Anyone know what the offside rule is?
With around five miles remaining we realised that we wouldn't complete the sportive within the set time limit. I'm not entirely sure how this happened. We both felt that we put in a good performance and tried to keep up a decent pace.
The final drag back up Boundary Road and back to base was a little demoralising.
An evening of recuperation / publishing SW9 content from Friday filled up Sunday evening.
Monday looks like being a stiff one.