The route itself wasn't hard by any means, on any other day I'd have done that sort of mileage no problem. However, after 67 days of chemo, and all the extra weight I've put on, 30 miles is about the limit at the moment. I was up early this morning, probably a little bit excited to be getting out on an organised ride again, so I didn't hang around. Had a quick breakfast and then headed to the event HQ at Woodford to see if I could help out before the ride. I spent the first hour filling water bottles, then got myself ready to ride. The turnout at HQ was very good, no idea of numbers but there were quite a few riders there.
Which kept Al & Clare, the organisers, plenty busy.
Al chatting to one of the event photographers.
Finally, we got the riders brief off Al, then it was all go. I managed to get myself on the front of the ride for a little while, which was a strange feeling. Looking back I could see this massive group of cyclist all on my wheel, so I shouted out a few pothole warnings in top ride leader fashion :)
After only 4.5 miles, the route took us into Alderley Edge and up the infamous Swiss Hill cobbled climb. I'd done this little climb prior to starting my chemo a few months ago, and got up it no problem. However, not today, although I wasn't alone in walking it.
After that, the route meandered towards the back roads of Macclesfield, along some lovely quiet country lanes, and finally back to event HQ at Woodford.
All in all, a nice ride in the countryside, if a little chilly. At the end of the ride, there was Lamb curry and spicy lime pickle to warm you back up, which was delicious.
Once home, quick shower and off to Sarah & Ian's baby christening. I'd missed the service in church due to the ride, but was glad I made it to the pub for the party. It was great to see Sarah & Ian's families again, who were very welcoming and had plenty of kind words for my condition.
They'd laid on hotpot and cake for the party, which, once again, was delicious. Recovery pint of Guinness, and I was beginning to wain a little. Getting tired.
Home again. Chill on the sofa for the afternoon watching Inkheart on Film4HD.
Results of my CT scan on Wednesday, can't wait to see how things are progressing.
P.S. I was sad to hear of the 8 people who stole food and cake from the event HQ today. They'd ridden the sportive without paying, which both Clare & Al don't mind, but then come back to the HQ and stole food that everyone else had paid for. Shame on you lot. Not the done thing at all. Scum.