I set out knowing I had a tail wind with the plan of taking it easy and conserving energy as much as possible whilst maintaining a steady pace. After the first hour I was at a healthy 16mph average without trying at all. That should have told me everything. As I turned away from a NE route the wind hit. At first it was crosswinds and then later in the ride it was headwinds. The cross winds were horrible because I had to fight to stay on course. The headwinds were brutal because they were turning flats into hill climbs. Still a bit of Flanders style hill training could only do me good. By the time I got to Rockingham I was in bits and actually considered going up Rocky Hill to get out of the wind. As it was I went up Rocky's lesser known twin to Cottingham I had the triple pain of a steep hill, a headwind and bonfire smoke blowing into my face. At that point I made up my mind that there was no point doing rubbish miles on a training ride. I was risking over training and we all know that defeats the point. I expect if I'd made it round to Welford though I'd have just sailed home the last few miles. I do feel confident that on a better day I already have 100 in my legs so I have my start point. Fit, fit, fit, try not to have a fit!
The route is looking good so well done Justin. I think I had just started the 'hard bit.' If I'd have continued I'd have fought the wind to Ashley Hill and then a few good lumps in quick succession. I don't want a garmin and therefore was following Strava routes on my phone. It's not the best and after Clopton I got into unknown territory and therefore made a few errors. Luckily I've learnt from those and if challenged could repeat them exactly. Finishing where I did means I can quickly get back to the route for the next test. That's my plan: know the route!
Here's some pics of the route