Preparing For The Brian Robinson Challenge

It’s the Brian Robinson Challenge tomorrow, a 75 mile ‘sportive’ cycle event from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. It does a scenic tour of the Kirklees district taking in some of the best local hills. I’m riding most of the way to Huddersfield in the morning but getting a lift for the last few miles. After the event, I’ll get dropped off near the M62 and can whiz down the hill to Greetland and then have a relatively flat ride home via Sowerby Bridge. That should take my total to close to 100 miles. I might add a little bit on to bag my ‘century’ – I’ll wait and see how I feel and see what the weather is doing.

Last year the event was called the ‘Kirklees Sportive’ and was sponsored by Kirklees council. It was pouring with rain when riding partner John and I set off, but it brightened up later. The forecast is the other way round for tomorrow –  a sunny start, but light rain later.

The route has been rearranged so that the toughest hills come first. I’m hoping that that will suit me better than last year’s route. I wasn’t really fit enough and suffered terribly as the day worn on. I managed to injure my leg and it took months to heal.

This time round I’m feeling fitter, but I’m still too heavy and another thing – my Basso is off the road with that worn-out bottom bracket! I couldn’t risk doing a big ride when it sounded like the bottom bracket might fall apart at any minute. I’ve just put my Cannondale back together ready for me to ride that tomorrow. It’s a lovely bike, but I haven’t ridden it since a Spanish cycling holiday in March 2007. It is usually reserved for sunny summer rides, but we pretty much didn’t have summers here in 2007 and 2008!

The thing that worries me about the Cannondale is that it’s lowest gear is 25% higher than the Basso’s. That might be the difference between walking and riding some of the hills. We’ll see in the morning…

I’m feeling quite nervous about the ride after what happened last year. Full report in the next couple of days so watch this space.

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2 Responses to “Preparing For The Brian Robinson Challenge”

  1. Best of luck.

    Another hilly 100. You seem to be getting into these tough rides.

  2. It was 77 miles but I did an extra 14 miles there-and-back to get a lift from another rider so it was 91 miles for the day. It wasn’t so much the distance as the hills that hurt! I’ll try and write the event report this evening.

    As for toughness of rides… I don’t drive, so most of my rides end up being round here where it is hilly. I choose the hills rather than the busy valley roads most of the time so the longer rides do end up being quite hard. Never mind – what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger and all that! 😉

    I’m going to try and ride in Cheshire more often to be able to enjoy the flatter roads out there. I’ve ridden the Manchester 100 six times but the friend who used to give me a lift to that has emigrated. I’m developing a new network of cycling pals and several have offered me lifts to future events so cycling further-afield without relying on trains or overnight stays is becoming potentially possible again.

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