I had agreed to ride for the KBC b.strong team during one of the days of the 4-day 1000km Against Cancer event. As the event drew nearer I began to worry if I would be up to the task of riding 250km in a single day. Stress developed, my stomach got in a twist and last wednesday the pressure caused my back to start hurting. I made an appointment with an osteopath and he put everything in place again in my back and neck, giving me a lecture on proper nutrition as well. I will try to take more care of what , how much, and when I eat.
Resting for the rest of the week allowed my body to recover from the manupilations and with some extra encouragement of a friend I was ready to face to challenge.
Up bright and early at 5.30am , riding the car to Mechelen where the start was to be given at 7.45 for my group. I decided to ride in the 27kph average group, the 24 being too slow and the 30 too fast for my liking.
The weather was cloudy but even though it was fresh - around 8 degrees - and there was a lot of wind, I settled for a 3 layer solution, the Assos BlitzFeder being the final insulation layer. I also put a thin rainjacket in my backpack because some showers were forecast. The bike was in tiptop shape and from the start the big peloton settled in a nice average. The big group makes for easy riding, but also calls for concentration . We reached the first rest stop in Zelem - around 60K into the ride - and I was still feeling fresh and full of energy. Eating and drinking being very important . When we left the stop we had our first rain shower. The peloton took a pause to allow everyone to don their raincoats or other protection. The raincoat would be worn for the rest of the ride.
The wind was blowing in our backs and some 4.5 hours into the ride we reached the halfway point, 125km into the ride, Bilzen. When we arrived in the city hundreds of people were lining the streets, making a lot of noise, cheering us on. Amazing, we felt special. In Bilzen we would stop for a warm meal . I checked for the members of the other KBC b.strong teams and found some company for the meal. Pasta and hot soup, delicious.
Around an hour later, we started again for the second leg, the ride back to Mechelen. I had some fears for the wind but once again, being in a big group helps , and we made good speed on our way in . Two more rest stops were planned, one after around 40K in Beringen, in the neighborhood of the old mining site. Again , I stocked up on plenty to eat and drink. The organisation was almost perfect. A big fleet of Police and Way Captains on motorcycles stopped all traffic and blocked all crossroads so that our peloton could pass. The only time we had to stop was when we came to a railroad crossing and we had to wait for a train to pass. Also, the rest stops were well stocked and manned by the most friendly people. All for the good cause. A big applause for them.
40K later we were already at the last rest stop, situated in Westerlo. Again eating and drinking for the last stretch. We already passed the 200K mark and I was beginning to feel confident I would make it. When passing in Duffel and riding on a big road towards Mechelen distaster struck. The group had to brake for some potholes in the road, I had to turn into the sideberm briefly and when we started rolling faster again I could feel my rear tyre losing pressure. Up goes my hand. The truck with the technical assistance team stopped besides me, my wheel was taken out and I was given a replacement wheel. It was a Shimano cassette but the shifting went fine and before long I was back at the peloton, which had dropped its speed. Riding behind the truck coming back was easy. After the ride I would pick up my wheel, with a new inner tyre and inflated. Great job guys !
Arriving in Mechelen was another great experience, the Grote Markt and the streets leading towards it were packed to the brim with enthusiastic supporter, making a lot of noise and cheering us on. What an expirience. I was very glad to be able to participate and the ride was completed without any physical trouble. Ok, my neck , triceps and hands started to hurt near the end of the ride and I could also feel some pain in my hips, but my back didn't budge. Good job of the osteopath!
Ride Stats : 257K and 685 heightmeters (Garmin) in 09h34mins
12-05-2013, 00:00 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf