I signed up for The Christie Charity ride from Manchester to Blackpool several months ago. At the time of signing up it seemed such a long way off, but those weeks passed by in flash. Yesterday (Sunday, 04/07/2021), I completed it and enjoyed every moment and it was many firsts for me that contributed towards the experience.
The ride, as you can above covered a distance of 98.48km (61.19 miles) and 557 metres (1829 feet). I couldn’t believe that I completed this in 3hrs 48mins and 36 seconds as I was expecting to spend more time completing this, around 4.5 hours. Even though I have ridden 100km previously I had some breaks along the way. This time, I rode through without breaks, only stopping at traffic lights, round-a-bouts and slow moving traffic.
I experienced torrential rain combined with thunder and lightening giving me concerns for the event on the Sunday. However, I was thankful that the weather was pleasant during my ride, there was no rain and the sun made an appearance from time to time. Although, by the time I had finished the rain made an appearance again which led to further torrential downpours later in the day, unfortunately, there were still some riders coming through and I really felt for them having to cycle through all that.
What were the Highlights?
I was alone riding this event but I had the opportunity to tag on to some strong riders. We passed several people while a stuck close to the rear wheel of the rider in front. Once I had recovered I returned the favour and moved to the front of the line so they could draft me. I was able to pick the pace up and we all began to rotate giving the leader a break. The feeling I had was like a train moving along at pace. I never really really felt the benefit of drafting before, not until this experience anyway. I found that I picked up my pace while drafting to keep with the other riders, sending me sometimes outside of my comfort zone.
Although I engaged in plenty of sports when I was younger, they have always been solo sports (fencing) and never really experienced what it is like with public support.
As I was riding along the streets some people were standing in their front gardens cheering the riders on and standing on the side streets cheering. As I approached the finish line, people gathered and cheered, clapping and whistling as I approached. This experience was phenomenal and made it all the more special.
The Christie event happens every year and I will definitely being entering again next year!