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Saddle sore, aching but still very proud
Our reporter SCOTT D’ARCY saddles up for a funraising trip into the cycling world
AS a relative newcomer to the increasingly popular world of cycling I was totally unaware how hard cycling 100 miles would be.
So when I decided to do something for charity, and challenge myself at the same time, choosing the Wiltshire 100 sounded like a good idea at the time.
I could jaunt around my home county seeing the sights while on my bike, and all for a good cause.
I was wrong – and I was well under-prepared.
I had done some training, including several 30-mile plus rides, a 45-mile ride and a bit of interval training.
I assumed if I paced myself I could make the distance even at a snail’s pace.
We set off from Devizes at 7.30am and headed out to Westbury, then went through Warminster and down towards Salisbury.
Fifty miles in and I felt okay, so I stopped for a breather at one of the rest stops the organisers Bike Events had laid on.
I was not unduly bothered about all the more experienced cyclists, many middle-aged men with calves the size of my thighs, passing me at that point. But when I set off I was all too aware I was pretty much right at the back.
But the second half got much harder.
It wasn’t the most hilly course but the route back up through Amesbury, Upavon and Pewsey felt like forever and the 14 miles between Marlborough and Devizes were almost unbearable.
I will admit I got off my bike at one point and nearly quit.
My left knee was in agony and I was pedalling with one leg for most of the last few miles.
The only thoughts that kept me going were the generous donations I had received from family, friends and businesses and the fact that I would never live failure down.
I crossed the line at 6pm, with my family cheering me on, only to find the inflatable finish line was already being packed away.
It was not the only thing that was deflated.
On reflection I’m so glad I took part and the event and route itself were well organised.
So far the money raised for the children’s charity the NSPCC has totalled more than £500, including funds from a raffle.
I must thank local businesses such as Swindon Cycles, the Weighbridge restaurant, Magnum, the Kembrey Inn, Arkell’s, The Wyvern Theatre, Pizza Hut, Cineworld and Brunettes for their donations to the raffle.
Also thanks go to the Bombay Lounge, in Old Town, in advance for their donation from the curry night held last month.
There is still time to donate and to do so visit www.justgiving. com/darcysj.
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