The Pearson 150K is a nice ‘local’ cycle sportive that starts at Royal Marsden hospital, near where I live. The route goes to Brighton via the usual London to Brighton bike route, then the route back is a different way back to the start at Royal Marsden.
150K in total, a feed station at Brighton and also on the way back at Rusper at circa 115K.
The ride was different for me as I was riding with my brother and it was our first sportive together. We are at different levels; he has a young family, works long hours and hence doesn’t ride as much as I am sure he would want. I knew my fitness was high, I knew I could do the ride significantly faster than I had previously in 2011 (6hrs 30 mins ride time) but this one wasn’t about me and having come off 20 hours training at Tri Topia that week I had strict instructions from Mark to go easy. I was hoping the two of us would equal out.
The weather was perfect, a bit overcast and grim, so no need for sun lotion and we both got away with two thin layers, as although grim looking it wasn’t cold.
We set off early and tried to find a pace that matched us both. I tried to be a bit tactical – getting my bro to ride off my wheel, trying to tag on to those who passed us and draft off of them etc. But in hindsight I think that took its toll on my bro and meant the pace was faster than it could have been.
Ditchling Beacon was the nail in the coffin. I pushed on at the start of the climb and used it to practice climbing ready for the Vachery Half Ironman where there is an equally big hill which I have to tackle twice. Because of this I wanted to climb Ditchling strong, so I had to leave Richard to climb on his own.
I was very pleased with my climb, even paced all the way up, passed a few others and felt good at the top. I waited for my bro and we rode to the first feed station together. It was on the way to the feed stop that I realised he had bitten off more than he was used to. We stocked up on cake, nuts, drinks etc and set off again to make our way back but the pace was a lot slower going back. Drafting was hard as Richard was dropping off the pace without me realizing and so he was losing my draft before I realized and I had gone off up the road.
There were some more hills coming back which took their toll and after the second feed station the Sun came out and drained the last bit of energy out of him. Around Box Hill was hard going to and while I stayed with him as much as I could, to keep my tempo and rhythm at times I rode on and then waited for him.
He was very pleased to see the finish and his daughter, partner and our mum at the finish.
Fair play to him, he finished the ride even though it was tough, he gritted his teeth and saw it through to the end.
I emailed him he next day and asked how he was feeling and if he enjoyed it and his reply was positive, that he was glad he did it and learnt a lot and we are looking at another one in June of a shorter distance.
Our time to complete, well that’s not really important is it, it’s the taking part and finishing that counts!
Now where’s that cream for saddle sores!
Thanks for reading.