A year of cycling – by Rich

If my first year with CRC has shown me one thing it has been that where there’s an obstacle in my way, be it hill or distance travelled, I will succeed where before I have failed.

Let us not beat about the bush, cracking your first 100 miler is a milestone in any cyclists book. I had a nemesis in the Etape Eryri (2014) in that I rode a 75+ course over 5000ft of climbing on a hybrid bike & I will not lie that I walked nearly every hill going. That was a defining moment in my cycling journey, I would purchase a road bike and do my utmost to conquer my nemesis.

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Roll forward to October 2014, I joined CRC and thought I would be able to keep up on a ride to Sledmere. Wrong, dropped and I was walking every little incline going. With a number of the group ably guiding me back home the only thing I saw for that entire ride back was Chris’s rear wheel.

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I had a veritable mountain to climb. The only way to conquer this nemesis was to keep trying, next there was Trundlegate. Nope, failed on that one too. The number of monkeys was becoming unbearable.

Mid-May 2015 became my next defining moment, the warmer weather was here and I was regularly attending rides both on Wednesday nights and the weekends. I was quickly becoming a regular and also falling into a nice little role shepherding the stragglers…the birth of a Lantern Rouge perhaps.

With the increased mileage came an increased fitness & confidence, the distances were becoming further and I was starting to put the monkeys to bed.

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First, Trundlegate. Gone, it is no more, subsequent PB’s and rides up it in horrendous head winds mean this one is no longer a nemesis. Brantingham, Elloughton, Beverley Road climb, Kidd Lane climb the list grew and grew.

Etape Eryri (2015) revisit the 75+ miles …. no lets go further. 106+ miles with 9500ft+ of climbing, are you MAD my friends and family cried.

Not only did I bust the 100M barrier, but I did it in quite possibly the most emphatic style possible with not a single hill walked. Well, I didn’t want to damage my nice new bike shoes!

From then on, no hill would see me give up on the first attempt. It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster has never been more true.
Without the support and encouragement of CRC this would not have been possible.

I now enjoy putting back into the club, you’ll find me loitering near the back on most rides playing the Lantern Rouge, not because I’m struggling to keep up but because I have the confidence and ability to support others in their cycling journey.

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CRC recognised this role and it was an another achievement to be considered for the clubman of the year award.

By the way, if I am at the back and race off, it’s usually a Strava segment, please don’t take it personally 😉

….. but now you know I have a competitive nature, eyes on the trophy for next year!

 

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