It was the Wiggle Chiltern Classic Sportive on Saturday and I had booked on the Epic 100 mile route.
I drove down on Friday evening and went straight to bed when I arrived at the hotel, as I had to be up at 6 am for the 25 minute drive to the sportive HQ near Henley On Thames. I had the best sleep I’ve had in ages and really didn’t want to get up when the alarm woke me. Get up I did though and after breakfast in my room, I headed off to the sportive.
As I approached the venue I was really enjoying the stunning countryside, with rolling hills and right by the River Thames. I went through the village of Little Marlow on the way and was recalling a fun caravan holiday we had there when I was about 8.
The weather is not forecast to be great but I know I’m going to absolutely love this ride!
No coffee concession to distract me from starting the sportive this morning (the usual guy was on holiday apparently) so I was in the very first group of riders to start. No bad thing to make an early start when you have 100 miles to fit in!
The first big hill came after less than 2 miles, with another big climb not long after. My legs had not even warmed up yet so it was harder going than it needed to be, but totally worth it for the fab views the climb afforded me.
The route then meandered through the Chiltern Hills before heading down a HUGE flowing downhill stretch onto the Oxfordshire plain and towards Thame.
I caught up with a guy riding a Raleigh Chopper, which still had the 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears. Amazingly he was more than keeping up with everyone else who were riding modern road bikes!
The first feed stop was shortly after and this is where the promised rain started. Just after the feed stop, the rain got torrential and we had thunder (did not see any lightening though). The rain was that heavy that the roads were starting to flood and it was seriously tricky picking a line through the puddles as you never know what lurks beneath a puddle (a big wheel-breaking pothole perhaps?).
We all plodded on and after a good few more miles managed to ride out of the other side of the rain and into lovely sunshine, which started to dry us off.
The route touched the side of Oxford before heading back towards the event HQ near Henley On Thames. The flatness of Oxfordshire began to make way for rolling countryside, leading back to the hilly Chilterns.
Loved this part of the ride with some fun climbing, great panoramas and lovely shady woodland sections.
All too soon we were closing on the finish line. After the ride, I got my usual massage from Six Physio before heading home.
A fabulous ride in some gorgeous sunshine (well, eventually anyway!) and some fun climbing too. Loved it!
Route: click here