Cycling race 5:29:13  100.0 mi (3:18 / mi) +960m 3:12 / mi
The organisation left a bit to be desired in the run-up: transport instructions were a touch vague and the promised signposting from the drop-off point wasn't there. Halfway to the Olympic Park a marshal actually directed me and a small group on to the course! After another rider confirmed he had in fact started, we doubled back and managed to follow our noses to the start.
Once over the line it was fantastic, riding on closed roads with a fair amount of encouragement from crowds. The route was a good one taking in the best that London and Surrey have to offer.
I was really wary of the distance having done a grand total of two 30 and 40 mile training rides plus a bit of commuting, and bearing in mind how badly my last hundred miler went. So I went off very conservatively and stopped at every hub for food & drink despite the big queues. Was delighted to see that my conservative start was only just shy of 30 kph - really my first proper experience of drafting!
My average pace didn't drop too much over the hills. I seemed to fly up Leith Hill compared to others but Box Hill was steadier with a couple of quick guys making me look like I was standing still.
Finally with around 10 miles to go I realised I really wasn't going to blow up and started to push the pace. Averaged around 45 kph for the last 9 miles into London - way faster than I've ever ridden before for a sustained period of time.
I was pretty pleased with the time (5:29 on the Garmin, 5:53 chip time including those stops). It would have been better in a faster wave though. I did a lot of ducking and diving and weaving around people on the climbs and the people on my waves were way too heavy on the brakes going downhill and into corners. Also well-organised trains were few and far between - I got on two proper trains for about 15 minutes each and they were fantastic. I let a few go early on, and with hindsight if I'd backed myself a bit more I could have spent much more than half an hour getting a tow. Having said that I still rode much faster than I otherwise would have just by switching from wheel to wheel.
Now looking forward to the Etape Pennines in early October, although weather conditions could be very different I'm sure!
Super impressed with Vince's 4:59 chip time.