Monday, 7 September 2009

Manchester 100 report

After a rude awakening at 6am by my alarm clock I jumped out of bed and immediately checked the weather (it was supposed to be raining today as it always does for the mcr 100) and found it to be cloudy but looking promising.

After getting all my bits near the bike to grab when Rafe arrived to pick me up I got a text from him asking if I was ready(?). Ready???? Eh, what's he doing here so early? Oh crap, I must've been faffing about too much as it was 6:45 and I wasn't even fully dressed yet. After racing about to finish dressing and making sure I grabbed everything I needed, I hauled ass downstairs and outside to the car.
Upon arriving at Wythenshawe Park and trying not to laugh too hard at the numpties driving cars with fully laden roof racks through (and I mean through) the trees myself and Rafe met up with Gaz, Joby and Emma and made our way to the start where Gaz had to enter and myself, Rafe and Emma went on a hunt for some toilets as we knew it'd be another 15 miles before the first feed station.
Then we were off following the same route I use on rides to Tatton Park and beyond, so I could easily warn of any hazards, climbs etc that were coming up such as the nice little 9% section near Hale and the long drag of Ashley Rd alongside Tatton.
Once out of Tatton we were heading through more familiar territory as we passed through Tabley, Bate Heath and into Great Budworth with a nice little steep hill to get up straight after a junction so no run up to it. Then on to Anderton and the canal for a rest stop for me and Joby while waiting for the others to catch up. It seems myself and Joby were so so deep into conversation and pootling along as we would normally that we kind of left the others behind. But we did all vow to stop at each feed station to catch each other up and so that we were still riding it as a team of sorts.

After Anderton Joby seemed to just shoot off and left myself, Rafe and Gaz behind. Emma shot past the rest stop anyway so she was ahead of us at this point. By this time we'd already done 20 miles and were all feeling good. Good that is until a steep hill loomed up at us. The very same hill where Joby had to catch a car. I led on up the hill with Gaz and Rafe following behind. About a third of the way up as it was getting steeper I began to hurt; not in my legs as expected but the darned pelvis again. I carried on and just dropped the pace a little to ease off the pressure and pootled up to 3 quarters of the way up when it began pinging. When the pelvis pings that's when I know it's gonna have a strop, and boy did it strop! I had to stop riding, got off, looked around and saw that Gaz had done the same: his hip was giving him problems too. It seems that this blasted hill had broken myself and Gaz.

Rafe kindly waited at the top for us and after a rest we were on our way again, headed for Winsford before turning back northwards for the return leg. At this point I think Gaz's hip got a bit too painful for him to keep the pace and sadly he dropped back from myself and Rafe. Somewhere we passed Emma but didn't realize it as we got to Middlewich and Joby was waiting alone for us. After some communications, we found that they were about 2 miles behind us. Not bad really considering the pain Gaz was in.
After finding the St John's guys for Joby and his scarily swollen eyes we had a very welcome rest for recuperation, food and drink before the last leg of the route. Bizarrely, there were no other feed stations for the next 25 or so miles so it was a case of carry what you can if you needed anymore sustenance.

From here on until reaching Manchester again it was, again familiar territory for me so I knew what was coming up as we passed through Peover and Ollerton into Knoll's Green and Mobberley. The route had changed a little from what I though it would round this section and included a couple of steep hills that caught quite a few people out including one poor guy who had a car stop suddenly in front of him causing him to come off his bike. I suggested he walk the rest of the hill for his own safety seeing as there was a lot of vehicular traffic on there as well as a lot of cyclists.

Soon I was on Styal Rd which is an excellent descent and I topped out at 36.4mph along here until I had to stop behind a car as it couldn't pass cyclists who apparently couldn't hear it behind them and were hogging the whole road pretty much. After yelling at them to get into single file and let it pass (it crawled behind them for ages) we managed to pass and I carried on quite happily until I saw Rafe and Joby again and waited for Gaz and Emma to appear, so that we could ride the last mile properly as a team. At this point I looked at my pc to see what time I'd done so far and found that I was close to beating my time for Mcr-Bpl (had a couple of minutes to get to the finish line to beat it). We all set off in high spirits that we'd almost done it without too many problems. And then hit traffic. It seemed that the world and it's wife were driving to the park and we made a paltry 2 minutes for less than a mile. At the last set of lights I looked again at the pc and found I had 40 seconds to get to the finish line if I was to beat the Mcr-Bpl time. Once the lights turned green we shot off again, overtaking the slow traffic and in the entrance to the Park (Joby overshot it at first), then we got out of the saddle and stomped on the pedals to sprint to the line.
DAMN IT! 40 seconds slower than mcr-bpl. but a hell of a good time considering I rode 40 miles or so in some considerable pain and the route was a hell of a lot hillier than that of the bpl run.

Mcr 100k Stats -
Cloudy, varying between warm and cold. Headwind on last few miles.
Miles: 61.07
Average speed: 14.5mph
Climbed: 1989ft
Time taken: 4:14:07

After noshing on a burger I set off for the ride home: 9.64 slightly uphill miles.

Total stats -
Miles: 70.71
Climbed: 2192ft

My only gripes for the event: the sabotage that happened near Peover (drawing pins in the road) and the foolish cyclists who ride with earphones in and can't hear the motorists behind them, thus causing huge tailbacks.


  1. Great report and well done, If it wasnt for that blasted hill that crippled us both then the times would have been so much better, Glad it wasnt just me that thought there were more hills than Blackpool :)

  2. Lol.

    Peover gave me some great chuckles as I rode past the sign.

    The name is great!

    Didn't notice any drawing pins though, so perhaps it was done after I'd passed through!

  3. @ Gaz. I think having ridden 2 other rides that were over 1000ft of climbing in the same week didn't really help matters either!

    We all did brilliantly!

    @ Joby. Don't forget there's Over Peover and Lower Peover too!
    I didn't notice any pins either, so maybe the wheels of the three guys in the road picked them all up?????

  4. Not as funny as Nob End in Bolton I have to add :)

  5. It's amazing how many people seemed to think the route was hilly.

  6. Or the town of Twatt in Orkney.

    Eh, we all done terrific innit. I was slow, but a big improvement on Man->Black. Most impressed with you three being in pain for much of the ride.

  7. @ red. Well, it most certainly wasn't pancake flat when you consider the ascent of 1900ish ft we did :oD The number of people we passed that were whinging about the climbs.....too many people forget that we live at the foothills of the Pennines, therefore we are not in Lincoln or Norfolk with endless miles of nothingness and nowt above 1% grad. Still....nowt really to complain about.

    @ Emma. You did bloody amazing to cut that amount of time off the Mcr-Bpl times!! I'm kinda used to riding in some level of pain - November and December were spent riding with fractured ribs, torn shoulder ligaments and (un-splinted) fractured wrist, so a pinging pelvis ain't too much to worry bout (or is it???). The pelvis is more of a concern than the others really, but I was forewarned there'd be pain for some yrs yet!

    @ Rafe. Why thank you kind Sir (pee-pee) :oD