Last year’s Essex 100 Cycle Ride started and finished in Danbury, and the finishing few miles up some very steep hills just about did for my cycling companion, the erstwhile Broad Oak Bullet as I reported here.
This year the start was moved to Halstead, and the 100km and 100mile route took us clockwise around some beautiful parts of north Essex.
The starting/finishing point was Gosfield School, and signing on in the school gym and using the changing room toilets had me flashing back to not very fond memories of school days and sports lessons!
The route did have a few steep climbs, and the Broad Oak Bullet doesn’t like them – the grunting, gasping and groaning he makes going up them is like the soundtrack of a 1970s softcore porn film. As you can see from the profile to the left, there was a nasty one at 20km. And towards the end, passing a somewhat delapidated old mill on the outskirts of Halstead, there was a spectacularly steep, if short, climb that had the granny gears engaged.
The two food stops for the 100km riders gave excellent sustenance, and the second one at Great Leighs Village Hall had a salad that included black pudding – marvellous!. This wonderful treat reinvigorated my northern DNA and helped me to the finishing line in about the same time as last year.
And by the way, why these so-called professional photographers spend their time taking photographs with lenses that make me look like a fat old git, I will never know (rider 6040 on the photo site!)
A few pics below, and here’s to next year’s Essex 100.