Not sure why this sportive is not huge. It deserves to be. I guess I’m glad actually, 500 odd is enough on those roads. No one else from Oxford ever seems to ride it, something I’d like to change. I don’t do many sportives these days as club rides tend to be enough of a challenge! But there are exceptions and this is one such.
The scenery is just lovely, rolling downs, views, valleys, rivers and hills. Different from the Costwolds (steadier climbs, wider valleys) where I normally ride, but just as beautiful. A sunny day really helps it has to be said, and that is what we got. This is the fourth time I’ve done this sportive and it is my firm favourite. No frills, no commercials, just great routing, signage, feedstops and general organisation.
This time, for a change, no mechanicals and a smooth run through. Only stopped once at the second feed stop for a refill and bananas. Read about my variable luck on previous years here (HHH 2016). Pleased with my time, quickest yet at 5h 44 min oddly though in the same position as last time – 56th (10th in age group) but I know I can do better if fully fit. A 10 mile hike on Friday meant I started with sore legs, though by half way that was forgotten. Memories mostly of some great little peletons, banter, and drafting, but mostly stunning scenes, gorgeous villages and smiles everywhere. Can wait for the next one.
Year Dist. Time Elev. Pos. Strava 2012 99.91 5:59:26 5,695 128 https://www.strava.com/activities/8450222 2013 101.7 5:58:25 6,159 126 https://www.strava.com/activities/53791435 2016 100.9 5:51:30 5,715 56 https://www.strava.com/activities/569521387 2018 102.9 5:44:47 6,106 56 https://www.strava.com/activities/1584321353 - timings are official sportive timings not Garmin timings.
The organiser is thinking of a small scale ‘steel only’ ride in the Autumn, now wouldn’t that be cool?