Action Medical Research Kent 100

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by DODDY, 20 May 2008.

  1. DODDY

    DODDY New Member


    Newish here and just wanted to open a topic about the 'Action Medical Research 5 Castles Challenge' that I completed yesterday.
    Firstly a great big thanks to everyone involved. The organisation and general day was tops!!! 100 miles (my first) of great scenery and some HILLS!!! As this was my first big road trip I have no idea how this rates as 'HARD' 'NORMAL' or 'EASY. Did anybody else from these pages do this ride?
    Opinions would be much appreciated.

    I completed the ride in 6 hours 23 mins actual road riding time. One stop at lunch for 20mins and two small snack stops of about 2mins. I was pleased with this as it was completed on a Claud Butler Critirium 531 steel.

    I am 41 next week and do about 60 miles a week in the summer but will confess to doing a spinning class 4 times a week.

  2. Paul_Smith SRCC

    Paul_Smith SRCC Über Member

    Yes I rode it as well, as to "'HARD' 'NORMAL' or 'EASY" it is all relative, a fit rider will do it quite easily if they ride within themselves, vice versa to quote one rider he was "totally spent". Yet even for a fit rider a 100 hilly miles in Kent is a good ride, for them they can make it harder by going quicker, where as a less fit rider may ride slower and suffer more for longer of course! Personally I have ridden a hundred miles in a day more times that I can remember and I would always call that distance a good hard ride. I have written an account that may be of interest:

    My Girlfriend Louisa and I rode the 100 mile Castle Ride for Action Medical Research around Kent on Sunday 18th May 2008
    808_Castle_100_1_2.jpg 808_Castle_100_2_1.jpg
    While some raced, we toured, so; inside Tonbridge Castle and immediately after the start just outside ;D
    700 hundred of us waited in the sunny grounds of Tonbridge Castle for an early start, some started as early as 7.30, where as Louisa and I waddled through the gatehouse at just before nine for what was to be a 100 mile circular route back to Tonbridge taking in some of Kent’s castles along the way. The route was superbly marked out at each junction to the extent that I did not need to so much as glance as the route sheet which I had located conveniently in my MapTrap in preparation for such a long ride through unfamiliar territory, the busy junctions were even marshalled to make sure we didn’t get lost.
    808_Castle_100_4_1.jpg 808_Castle_100_3_2.jpg
    On route, slowly starting to get warm
    The first half of the route was through the leafy yet hilly lanes that typify Kent, as we cycled past numerous Oast houses, orchards and spectacular rolling countryside it soon became clear why Kent is often referred to as the ‘garden of England‘, the route had been well chosen to show us Kent at its very best. There were four welcome refreshments stops plus a lunch stop, with plenty of fresh fruit, bananas plus cake and water available. At each check point there was help in the form of first aid and mechanics, all the stops were indeed well used by all but the quick riders, some of the latter completed the course by early afternoon.
    808_Castle_100_5_1.jpg 808_saddle_Cover_1.jpg
    Often on Charity rides will you see sights like this, this lady did not moan about a sore bum that's for sure
    For me Charity rides are about savouring the day, I can actually get almost as much enjoyment and satisfaction at helping others achieve their goals as they do, lets face it Charity rides are for many their first taste at cycling any distance, at 100 miles this does represent a challenge to anyone, novices especially, even more so taking into consideration the hilly terrain. By late morning Louisa and I had got to Rochester, a quick stop for even more refreshments had us riding along sections of the Pilgrims way on route to the lunch stop at 56 miles. We were looking forward to what had been publicised as generous lunch, sadly at just after 2.00 o’clock this had all but gone and the organisers were out re stocking, in the meantime we made do with a few bread rolls, fruit and cheese, although in fairness we would have made alternative arrangements if we had known, you need to be well fuelled for a ride of this distance.
    808_Castle_100_35_1.jpg 808_Castle_100_6_1.jpg
    Louisa trying not to grimace on one of the many climbs
    After lunch we headed into a flatter section of the ride, the average speed increased as result, although being on ‘A’ roads this did mean the route was less scenic, but it was only for just over an hour and the fact that for many it did mean that they were getting the miles in without to much effort was a welcome change as far as most were concerned. At 73 miles we headed back into the quite lanes and extremely beautiful country side once more; oh and the hills! We were passed on several occasions by motorcycle riders who were there to assist anyone who needed it, on more than one occasion we noticed them changing a tube for someone, support vehicles and ambulances were also seen at regular intervals, always acknowledging us to make sure all was well.
    808_Castle_100_7_1.jpg 808_Castle_100_8_1.jpg
    Bodiam Castle
    Bodiam castle came and went at 77 miles, by this time most realised that although they were getting very tired they knew that they were going to make it, you could almost feel the relief coming off them, early on in the ride you could see they were nervous, now this had been replaced with stubborn determination, they were going to complete 100 miles, they knew it and nothing short of both legs falling off or was going to stop them. At 88 miles came the last refreshment stop, from here on the route eased off slightly in severity, the country side remained spectacular although I think Louisa missed most of the latter section, far to busy being bossed eyed and not very politely advising me that she had gone off hills, I assured her that this was normal for a first long bike ride and that infact she may not realise it but she was having a wonderful time going up hill; which went down well!
    She did it, her very first century
    Needless to say as we got insight of Tonbridge the mood as to be expected lightened, the aches and pains forgotten, the organisers still had their reception committee cheering as we rode through Tonbridge Gatehouse to welcome us, along with some friends who had been injured before the day who will at some stage ride the course. All in all a well thought out route, well supported by both riders and organisation personnel, running out of food at lunch time was a set back for us personally, but this is easy enough to rectify for what I am sure will continue to be a regular event and deservedly so.
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