Saturday night was mild & dry and the going was lot better than I was expecting, especially after seeing snow on the tops of the hills on the way in to Builth. The ride out being the pace truck was pretty swift when on a singlespeed and a bit of ground was lost as the pace picked up before the first off-road section. I managed to get back most of those places on the first climb though. By the top of that first climb the night had really set in – just in time for the first descent – so cool in the dark! Two big climbs later and we were well on our way back to Builth. The sting in the tail of the ride was the last section that was predominantly off-camber, rolling up & down. If you got off line on this bit it punished you with low branches and a climb back on to the main trail, but rewarded you by staying off the roads until just outside Builth. I crossed the line in about 2hrs-25mins for the 27-ish mile smile inducing course.
- Sunday started bright, but a bit breezier than Saturday. The lead-out went up the hill out of Builth this time, but still meant I dropped a few places back on the first road section which had to be pulled back on the first off road climb. The descent down to the first food stop gave a good opportunity to pick off a few more places as those around me hit the brakes. The first food stop shot by and those places I had just made up were lost on the drag up the road to the second climb – the same climb as at the start of Saturday nights ride… by the top of it my legs were aching, but I was chuffed I had cleaned it and taken those places back. The second food stop was a fair ride away and I settled in to a pace I thought would see me through the ride. At the second stop we re-joined the 50Km course and a really nasty grassy climb that eventually took us back to the tail end of Saturdays course. Having ridden that section a few hours earlier meant it could really be attacked and that off-camber section was much more flowing in the daylight and took my mind off of the ache in my legs. I crossed the line in 3hrs 45mins for the 40-mile course.
All-in-all a really pleasing start to my season. Roll-on SSEC2012!