Well, after nowhere near as much training as i wanted on Friday 3rd September, i set off on the long drive to Scotland, for the keilder 100. I arrived there in good time to drop my stuff at our cabin, arranged by Mr Markland of Evans head Office fame,before setting off to sign on. Signing on was really well organised, bumped into a few friends i have not seen for ages and 20 million midges i had not met before, and never want to again! Back at the cabin, last years 3rd place Mike Blewitt, and last years top 10 finisher Anthony Morris were at the cabin, soon joined by Nottingham manager Mark Lee. we talked about what to expect before trying to sleep before our 4.30 am alarm……….
So at the start line, at stupid o’clock in the morning, i lined up mid pack with Mark, while Mike and Ant went to the front with all the other racing snakes! the controlled start was off i rode with Mark, looked to my left, he wasnt there, so i hung about waiting and waiting, couldnt see him so carried on, i later found out he was on my right and pedalled off to the front flat chat! so i rode the first 48 miles at a decent pace, talking with a few new friends and a couple of old ones, looking to be around 5 hours for 50 miles. The feed zones were well organised, i managed to get all my food in quickly, and make my drinks up, then back on the Trail. it was at just after 50 miles and after the 2nd Zone, my knee decided it didnt like me anymore, i was in pain, i bumped into Biff from the Outcast, who was about to jack! i decided to curb my pace, and ride with Biff, handing him food and drink when needed, coaxing him along, he was very appreciative, even when i got carried away and gapped him! a quick yell and he was back on my wheel…… then, at about 80 miles, both my knees stopped working, i couldnt go on, i had chronic tendonitis in both of them. Then it was Biffs turn to help out, he offered me words of encouragment to get me round, riding on his wheel, i even dropped into my granny ring for the first time all year, just to get round, i felt so slow, and in so much pain! But we smashed through, even after dodgy mileage points with false hopes of a finish line around the corner, even after nearly wiping myself out after a giddy smash fest downhill with 10 miles to go, even though we had been in agony for 7 1/2 hours, and been in the saddle for 12 1/2 in total, we finished, it was an emotional experience, and one i will never forget…… Thank you Biff.
For days i was in agony, could hardly walk, and talked about never riding a distance like that again off road, but things like finding out my colleagues at the shop had a sweepstake on me, and with only one person out of 12 saying i would finish, made me smile, the Outcast zine and Outcast cap with a thankyou note from Biff, made me smile, and more importantly, the fact i finished, made me smile, roll on 3rd September 2011, where i will be competing again……….
Thanks to Evans cycles for lending me my bike, thanks to Damo, Jimmy, and Alex for the Mulebars, thanks to Nick S, Nick C, Bill, and Damo for letting me ride for Mulebar, thanks to Sara and Paul from SIP-Events for a great event, and thanks again Biff for helping me finish