My first century ride

Bank Holiday Monday saw me complete my first 100 mile ride.

It was a last minute decision and to be honest, I was bricking it! The planned ride, as orchestrated by Mark (@_BLIXA_) and devised by Jean-François (@jfphilips62) was to be a 51 mile loop of the Ashdown Forest. Although the ride was not major in terms of length, there were some decent climbs. However, the day before the ride I was checking the starting post code with the others when Jean-François asked if I wanted to ride there. I instantly knew it would be around 100 miles. My immediate answer was NO.

How could I ride 100 miles in a day without any mental preparation or planning? After a couple of hesitant tweets in reply, Jean-François tweeted,
"Whatever happens, we'll keep together. We'll take it easy. Wind shouldn't be too bad".
This put my mind at rest but I was still a little nervous. That night I filled my drink bottles with energy drink, and gathered a couple of drinks powders and a dozen energy gels and went to bed.

In the morning I got up at 6am. I had a double size serving of porridge and checked and double checked I had everything I needed for the day ahead. At 8am I set off to meet Jean-François at Sovereign Harbour. We then rode to Hailsham to pick Mark up.

16 miles into the ride I got an impact puncture to the rear wheel from hitting a pot hole. I swapped the tube out and between us we got my bike up and running again in no time. By the time we got to the rendezvous point, we'd ridden a shade under 30 miles. We met with 5 other riders including @SimonAlexTyler @rich_mitch and @greeny3103.

The ride went straight into a long downhill which was nice. However, I knew that it wouldn't be long before I'd be climbing. The ride was quite undulating and there were many steep climbs. I was also the slowest climber so was often at the back by myself. From time to time, different riders hung back with me and often, the main focus of conversation was my Rose bike. I was happy to answer questions about it though.

At one point we went down a massively long hill when we realised we'd gone the wrong way. We had to go back. Not a problem but it was a slog back to the top. It was 58 miles before we made it to our lunch stop. I was so relieved. I needed a proper rest and some proper sustenance. We stopped at a place called Ninety Six Degrees. It was recommended by @girodelento.

I ordered a large latte and a bacon and brie panini. It really hit the spot. We sat chatting and chilling for about and an hour and a half in the glorious sunshine.

We set off refreshed but our ride started off straight up another hill! Although we'd ridden most of the hills by now I was finding the going tough. My legs were feeling heavy but I was able to keep the pedals moving without too much problem. This part of the ride was noticeably harder and slower but the scenery was stunning at times and I persevered knowing the others would happily wait for me.

The last part of the planned ride was a 1 mile slog up Kidd's Hill. It was a horrendous climb but after 83 miles, I wasn't going to stop. I had to alternate between sitting and standing to keep the momentum going. It wasn't until I got to the top that I actually noticed we were back at the rendezvous point. I was knackered and got off the bike.

After saying our goodbyes, Mark, Jean and I headed back home. We decided that we'd take another proper rest just down the road at the Duddleswell Tea Rooms. I ordered a pot of coffee and enjoyed the rest before getting back on the bike for the final leg home.

I was struggling to stay on the wheel of the other two but when I did get on it really did help keep my pace at a decent level. However, it wasn't long again before I got another rear puncture thanks to another pot hole. I swapped the tube and we got going again.

We left Mark at Hailsham and headed home for the final leg. The was the easiest and probably the fastest I'd ridden for most of the day. I got home 10h 40m after I left and was absolutely exhausted! Total distance was 108.74 miles with 7h 06m 08s moving time.

I definitely couldn't have done it without the others and would like to thank them for their help on the day and for persuading me to do it.

On another positive, the morning of the ride I weighed myself and I've hit another milestone. I'm now under 13st. I'm 81.6kg (12st 11lb 14oz).

I somehow reset the Garmin when we got to Hailsham so the first 10 miles is on another file.


  1. Great accomplishment! Feels good doesn't it?

  2. Thanks Mike. I don't know how you do it regularly.

  3. Well done Toby that is such an achievement mate you have come such a long way 108 miles JB better look out take care matey

  4. The first century ride feels great doesn't it? Well done!

  5. nice one - went to do 100 (by self)
    also but miscalcualated and by the time I got home it was 85 - didnt have te legs to go back out !

  6. Good going Toby. Can I ask, did your legs not get stiff after stopping for lunch?

    Excellent news on the weight loss, you'll soon be lighter than me :-o

  7. No noticeable stiffness but my legs soon got tired after lunch.


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