Still riding like a tortoise, but as someone said on the start line “life is good when riding your bike” Mike tackled the shorter 53km course with 1500m climbing, of which some was severe climbing….

My aim/goal was to complete the course, having seen the course profile I knew I wouldn’t be fast. I lined up close to the back, so that the first few kilometres I wouldn’t feel like I was being passed by everyone. The rolling road start strung the field of what seemed like thousands of riders out so that at the first climb people weren’t on top of each other. I’d been warned about the first climb and as the photo shows it was a long one, but I still managed a smile for the camera.

The day was glorious with the sun shining brightly. I’d only just got onto the moors when I had my first tumble, my peddle hit a rock and I landed safely in some purple heather, picked myself up and carried on. The course was a mixture of long climbs, fast docents and some tricky single track.

I stopped at the first feed station and filled up on crisps, peanuts and banana. The next section was the trickiest, coming off twice including clipping my handlebars on a gate post and then having to re-straighten them before carrying on. A little battered and bruised but still in good spirits I arrived at the second feed station and again re fuelled on peanuts and banana, re-filled my water bottle and off again.

The third and final feed station came round quickly as I was doing the shorter route and having had no incidents I decided to skip this one. Soon after the feed station the marshals, who had been fantastic all the way round, were telling me I was nearly there. I completed the course in 5 hours 18 mins, coming in 158th overall and 64th in my category.