In the past I was always a little annoyed that my perfectly petite derrière was hidden by an abundance of natural padding but in the last few months this worked to my advantage. I’ve done all of my long rides with just my running leggings and haven’t had any pain whatsoever.
However, the rest of the team, seemed to take great interest in my behind and bullied me into buying proper cycling tights using the threat of Vaseline or Butt’r as an incentive! (And yes it does really exist!)
I carried out my research and giggled hysterically to myself at the large padded bums! I’m such a child! But heeding the words of the experts and their obvious concerns for my abundant bottom, I bought a pair.
Now, apparently it says that you shouldn’t wear underwear with cycle shorts? They are designed to be seamless with no rubbing parts and according to web advice knickers would defeat all the ‘award winning design engineering’! http://www.goskyride.com/ShowArticle/Should-I-wear-underwear-under-cycling-shorts
Today was the British Heart Foundation, 40 mile bike ride from London to Reading.
With my new gear on, we set off from Kempton Park Racecourse (Tim was too busy listening to the instructions to be in the start selfie!). We kept a steady pace and Tim carefully selected his ‘victims to overtake’ as he called them whilst I just did my best to keep up.
We made it to our first pit stop at 12miles all buzzing and feeling great – apart from Helen, who swallowed a fly … Perhaps she’ll die! She says the flies hit the back of her throat like a bullet and when she tried to spit it out she forgot about the poor suffering cyclist behind her.
The other cyclists were all very friendly – my favourites being the two guys – one in blue and one in black who called all junctions for everyone! The guys who said ‘jump on my wheel’ when they passed me (although I was too nervous to take up the offer – and may also have misheard them) and the nice person in red who checked I was ok after the killer hill!
Although, my real hero was Vagner. He is such an incredible cyclist but also watching out for the whole team. Despite having a hamstring injury, he not only turned up so as not to let the team down, but he also set a challenging pace so we could push ourselves.
We arrived in Henley in great time. And how was my new gear performing … Well not great! My front bum, back bum and inner thighs all hurt! Seriously – I have had no pain for months and then spend a fortune on proper kit only to have my nether regions tortured! Vagner started to ask exactly where they hurt but soon shut up when I sent him one of my raised eyebrow ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ stares!
We left Henley knowing we had only a few miles to the finish at Reading. The killer hill appeared all too suddenly, and unlike other hills we had no run up and so had to tackle it from a standstill. This is the hardest hill we have ever done. I went alongside Michael and we tackled it together.
Stopping wasn’t an option as I wouldn’t have been able to unclip my feet … So it was do or die!
I did and still died! But luckily it was a 3 mile down hill to the finish. As usual, the guys set off in top gear and still pedalling. I thought about being cautious but then remembered the busy roads and traffic and decided I’d rather be in the huddle in town so used the last of my energy to keep up.
It was a blast and finally we arrived at the bridge in Reading but with no sign of the finish. Would you believe it – we cycle 39 3/4 miles and get lost 10mins from the finish.
We retraced our tracks and in doing so, Vagner and I spotted the finish line and took the unofficial route bringing us in at 2hrs 44 mins (or 2 1/2 hrs if you deduct the getting lost part). Michael also managed to create his own finishing route but his took an extra 10 mins. So really, it was only Tim and Helen that cycled the whole route accurately!
What a great day! We are all still buzzing! But don’t think it’s over … we jumped on the train at reading, diced with death as we cycled along Piccadilly into London’s west end and finished the day with a fantastic steak lunch at Angus Steak House!
And after all that, the burning question is …
Did the cycling tights work?
But then did I wear knickers? Answers on a postcard ….
Incredible Day! Thank you to the British Heart Foundation for the excellent organisation. Can’t wait for the next challenge!
A big fat beaming ‘Thank you’!
A big fat beaming thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We are blown away by the extreme kindness, support and generosity!