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Stockton Velo

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Stockton

6th July

a 58 mile cycle around Teesside and North Yorkshire with some big Hills, and I am tackling it on my own on my trusty mountain bike.

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This turned out to be the toughest event of the year so far! I was expecting a ride somewhat similar to the previous week in the VM Cyclone - a bike ride of 60ish miles, me out on the road on my mountain bike, some steep hills thrown into the mix - it was all that plus a big bag of chips (as our American cousins are fond of saying!). It started very early indeed - I was awoken at 5.10am in a hotel room, which I was sharing with my bike, by several very loud people knocking on each others doors and making loads of noise. I might as well have stayed at home and got up at that time to travel down to Stockton!

 

Outside it was a beautiful morning, clear skies, sun and warm - but it meant that it was only going to get hotter - not ideal for what was to follow! The hills on the route were not just steep, they were extremely steep and very very long indeed, at one stage I saw on my speedometer that I was only managing 1.9mph - vastly harder than the Ryalls. Coupled with the sweltering temperatures it made for a long, hard tiring ride. My official time for the ride was  06:06:53, whilst the bike computer has an actual cycling time (excluding feed station stops) of 5:40:02. Much longer than last week for a slightly shorter distance! I can say, however, that I battled my way up all of the climbs on the Mountain Bike, whilst there were some around me that were walking up the steepest parts. There were times I definitely thought it was time to get off and stop trying to drag that big heavy old thing up the hills (and the bike too!) It also meant that the downhill sections were steep too and I mad it to a speed of nearly 45mph at the maximum - quite scary at times. The scenery at the top of the hills was outstanding however - almost worth the effort to get to the top. The flapjack and snacks on offer at the feed stations was also very good - and the sausage roll at the end was one of the best I have ever tasted! I was in need of that by the time I got back to the Riverside finish line at Stockton - that’s for sure.

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