For the third year in a row, I managed to the Northern Rock cyclone this weekend. It was a lovely occasion as before; the weather was cool in the morning with a brisk wind, but it warmed up a little and the wind dropped by the end of the day. The numbers have gone up slightly and it was good to see so many cyclists around.

Compared to last years’ ride I was way down. I just cleared 5:30 in the saddle, or 6 hours elapsed, which is about 1 hour slower (although the route is, apparently, 2 miles longer than last year). Not unexpected, given the absence of training; this is my longest ride of the year, 40 miles being the longest otherwise. Having moved house early in the year, and with an F1 in the works, I just haven’t found the time.

This really is a great event; at the moment, it’s big enough to be an event, but small enough to still feel personal. I hope that it will get bigger, although the roads mean that it could never rival the GNR, because this sort of mass participation event will help to bring cycling up the agenda. However, having done the GNR, I know that this would almost certainly lessen the pleasure of it.

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