Tour of Britain – Stoke Tour Ride


Top class goodie bag.

My 2010 Tour of Britain tour ride was not the end-of-season finale I’d hoped for. Struck down by a virus shortly after returning from holiday in early September, I still hadn’t made a full recovery, and opted for the 50-mile ‘Challenge’ circuit instead of the full 161km route.

It was a shame, but a sensible call. I didn’t go too badly for the first 40km, but was off the pace I would have been at. I envisaged a quicker, healthier (possibly semi-transparent) version of myself riding ahead, while the real me lagged behind. It’s kind of crushing, that drop-off of form. Your body cannot produce the strength and speed that your mind (which assumes you still are as fit as you used to be a few weeks ago) wills it to, and there’s no way round that. Your fitter, stronger self seems like a figment of your imagination.

The route began about a mile from my back door, and followed roads that I’ve ridden over for many years. The TOB organisation was impeccable – definitely a must in the sportive calendar for me. After the cut-off with the long route, I was solo all the way back to base. Apart from the chilly headwind, it was a breeze. AND I had some roadside support from the Mucklows, who were anxious to regain face after missing me on the Tour of the Peak District.

As per the photo, the goodie bag was the best haul of free kit from any sportive apart from the Maratona dles Dolomites. It included:

  • A £5 Wiggle voucher
  • A copy of Cycling Weekly
  • Anti-chafing gel (binned it actually)
  • Er – Gillette shave gel
  • 1 x Kelloggs Elevenses
  • Pomegranate juice (needs diluting)
  • A t-shirt (like I need another sportive t-shirt)
  • Highlighted route maps from the Stoke and Devon legs of the 2010 Tour

The maps were the cherry on top.

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