As some of you many know, or may have guessed from the pictures, I took part in the Northern Rock Cyclone last year. It was my first ever, and so far only, sportive and I completed the 107 miles in 7:43:46. This year, on the 30th June, I am aiming to get that time down to under 7 hours. Exactly how realistic this is remains to be seen.
Virgin Money Cyclone - Route C - 104miles. A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists or those who are very fit. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing. The route is very choppy with 8 significant climbs and the highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills. There are 4 feed stations on this route at Forestburngate, Elsdon, Wark and Stamfordham. Riders competing this distance will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride. The standards are set as follows:
- Gold Standard-under 5hrs 40 mins
- Silver Standard-5hrs 41 mins - 6hrs 30mins
- Bronze Standard-over 6hrs 31mins.
So last year I wasn't going for a specific time, just to finish the race. This year I want to finish in under 7 hours which requires knocking at least 43 minutes and 46 seconds off last years time. It's going to be a big ask that will most probably involve missing out at least one and possibly 2 feed stations/rest stops along the way. Given that it's only 7 weeks to go and I've not been on my bike in months this is going to be extremely tough. Wish me luck and if you can give a little something to EJAF it would be much appreciated.