The weekend just gone was the Northern Rock cyclone weekend. With three events: the Leazes Criterium, Cyclone and Beaumont Trophy it’s a bit a of feast for a cycling nutter like myself. The criterium is a short race just down from my work, the latter is a long, elite rider race. The cyclone is a fun run; on a bike. It’s a bit of an embarrasement of riches, to be honest. Both this year and last, I’ve not seen all of the Criterium and totally missed the Beaumont because I wanted to sleep early or been knackered from the cyclone.

I went for the 62 mile ride this year, as last. I quite fancied trying the 100, but in the end decided that it was a bit beyond me; I think it would have taken 7 or 8 hours. In the end, I was quite glad about this; I managed 80 miles a couple of weekends a go, but the cyclone route is actually pretty hilly; up and down all the way. The weather forecast was not good; rain was expected with 60% chance; in the end, though, it was lovely all day. The hills were still there, but I felt much fitter this year; even the middle section (which is a killer) was slow but not painful like last time. Although, admittedly, this year on the way back, I just got off the middle section of the Ryals; it’s not a big hill but really steep. If you don’t believe me, try picture report which has Bradley Wiggins grimacing going up it. I think I was being a bit wimpish; I think I had the legs and gears for is this year, but last I had a feet-stuck-in-the-pedals experience that I wasn’t keen to replicate.

On the ride down from Stamfordham, I felt good, pushing reasonably hard, chasing the clock; I managed to just beat 5 hours (4:40 cycling by my computer).

It felt great and a fitting christening for my new bike; not so new now with 500 miles on the clock. Fingers crossed for next year.