The Dragon Ride (devil route) 305km, 4829m ascent, 10 June 2018
As a relatively new cyclist (I had only taken up cycling about 18 months ago), completing the Dragon Ride was always going to be a challenge. It was something I had been looking forward to with a mixture of excitement and hesitation. It was definitely going to be a tough ride!
My road to the start line
Two years ago I had a nasty foot injury (a fracture and ligament tear) which left me pretty immobile, in a cast and on crutches. As a keen runner, I found it incredibly frustrating not to be able to do something I loved. As I was making a slow recovery, somebody suggested I could try spinning – it wouldn't have a high impact on my foot but still enable me to keep active.
After a few months of indoor cycling, I dusted the cobwebs off an old bike and took to the outdoors. It wasn't always straight forward. Buying my first cleats led to the inevitable stationary fall at a junction. My first attempt at riding 30 miles resulted in me demanding a taxi and cake at the half way point whilst collapsed on the floor in exhaustion (I did eventually continue). I discovered bib shorts provided much needed added comfort. I learnt that cleaning a bike involves more than soap and water. And whilst a chocolate bar may help fuel a ride, on a hot sunshine day, it may not maintain structural integrity in a bike jersey pocket.
Somewhere along this journey, I fell in love with riding my bike. I signed up for the Dragon Ride at the start of 2018 and the training began in earnest.
The start line