Being up at 6am on any Sunday morning is enough to make me quit this sport, seriously. However, it seems all active people like to get up early and do stuff on the weekends so I suppose I should be doing something. So I signed up for a 50km cycle, which is a normal thing to do 10 days before the event right? Well, I am glad I did. It was so much fun. I spent the morning being helped to check that my tyres were pumped up to 100 PSI (my pump at home kept saying 20, think it is broken), chatting to a bunch of different riders and generally just enjoying being in Sydney on a bike. It was a great day out and I would highly recommend it to anyone. There is barely any hills, the longest "hill" was nothing compared to my ride to work.
There were a few things that I wasn't sure about going into the ride (being my first one) that my lovely friend was able to help me out with. So for any newbies, I will let you know some of the questions I had:
- There will be toilets along the way, even though I didn't actually end up needing them.
- A lot of other people will have paniers/back packs, so you won't look like a nerd.
- You only need to get to the start 10-15 minutes before the start time, not almost an hour like I did.
- Get someone to check your tyre pressure, there will be heaps of people at the start to help you.
- All the roads won't be closed so you won't be the only ones with your lights on and a fluro vest (even though I didn't wear my vest).
It was a very well run event, with a rolling start. So you just rolled on up whenever you were ready and they let people go in batches of 100 or so riders in order to ease the pressure heading onto the Harbour Bridge. Riding over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a sunny Sunday morning was pretty cool, pity I can't ride with one hand or I would have taken some happy snaps. There were a lot of people at this portion of the ride though, so it was also difficult to stop if you wanted to.
Riding through the city and then through the finish line of the 15km ride, I expected it to thin out a little but we kept stopping for lights which wasnt too bad because we were never stopped for long. Although riding along the gutter I learnt a valuable lesson - avoid the drains because my tyres are just the right size to get wedged into them and I will need to jump off and look like an idiot pulling my bike out of the road.
I managed to continue riding right through to the halfway stop, I was almost through my first water bottle by this stage so it was a good opportunity to jump off. I topped up my empty water bottle and found a nice spot by the water to eat my snack.
After this point there were a lot of bike tracks and absolutely no hills, so it was just a lovely way to ride. I was able to overtake a lot of people so I did feel fast, then I was sorely bought back to reality when someone would go absolutely flying past me.
I had estimated that the ride would take me about 4 hours, based on the speed I averaged on my way to work. As I have a lot more hills on the way to work I was able to make it to Homebush in 3 hrs 8 minutes including my stops. I was very happy to see that torch at the end!
Garmin was strapped to my bag the whole way, longest ride by a considerable way!
Definitely deserved the lamb roast dinner that my Husband cooked up for me after the ride!
I'm off to find my next ride to do!