Last year I turned up to this and it was drizzling. So, I decided to have a quick nap in the car and see what the weather did. Woke up an hour later! Still drizzling. Drove home.
This year it was the second hottest day of the year so far, so no excuses. Got there for a set off time of 8:15.
Decided on 1 stop at the 3rd feed zone, part of the 125 mile route, and stuck to it. I decided to take it reasonably steady for the first 50 miles or so, though a couple of times I latched on to faster groups (mostly doing the 70 miler) to draft for a while. As usual things started to get spread out after the first proper climb, but a lot of folks started before me so plenty to catch up with – lots of good targets!
The climbs were reasonably hard, but none as bad as the Zappi’s training climbs like Watlington or Streatley, so I coped OK. I didn’t push it on the hills, as 125 miles is double my normal Sunday.
After the feed zone the weather got even hotter, so pretty glad I fully filled up and grabbed a couple of bananas too. Only a couple of folks overtook me for the whole second half which I was happy with. Towards the end cramp set i, later than usual, at about 100 miles. I eased off a little and span, which seemed to sort it. Also at that point my bike computer died, so for I while I was wondering where mile 102 went! Asking folk (as i overtook!) I realised I was now 15 miles from home so stepped it up a bit.
Unfortunately, my legs had other ideas and with the route still hilly I had to spin quite a bit to keep going. Ended in 7:14 (7:10 moving) which is a PB at that distance for me. I think I could have gone a little quicker but the heat was sapping so keeping within myself was sensible. After the ride the Wiggle film crew asked for a quick post ride summary. I think I gave a pretty cringeworthy interview, everything was ‘awesome’! Ah well.
Nearly 500 people rode the 125 mile/200k Epic and I came in around 55th, many of the rather faster rides look like people switched over to the Standard ride on the day so I am discounting anyone who did more than a 20 mph average (!). Next up, Brompton World Championships!