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          My 1st ride to Skegness in August 1985        
 (Click on images for larger views)

Ride From Derbyshire to Skeggy!!! (30th Aug '09)
 I first time I did this ride way was way back in 1985, I had just turned 15years old, and I did it on a 12 speed Racer (Pic Left, Thanks to my mum for finding and scanning pic for me), I cycled it the with my Dad who was 35 at the time, he cycled it on a 3 speed bike. Me and my Dad had talked about doing this for years beforehand, and to actually do it and pass the Skegness sign together at the same time the sense of achievement words cannot describe!!
I recently missed a one way ride to Skegness May 2009, with some guys at work, which is around 85 miles give or take a few, I didn't think I'd trained enough for it as it was a organised at short notice as a charity ride. Hardly any of the guys from work did any training for it whatsoever and to my amazement they all made it. 
30th August 2009 was the date for my totally on the spur of the moment ride Derbyshire to Skegness, For this trip, I Hadn't planned a ride to Skegness, it was just a long time dream to redo it, and it was 24 years since I last did it.

2009 Times
 Overall time 7hrs 38mins 21secs,
Cycle computer data: Distance 85.43 miles, actual cycling time 6hrs 11mins 33secs, Average speed 13.8 mph (not including stops), Max Speed 29mph


Cycling to Skegness August 2009                             
Ok, there's no off road option (that I know of) to cycle to Skegness from Derbyshire where I live, it was an on road route all the way. Cycling to Skegness was my ultimate "must do" routes for me as a child. I've always wanted to redo the Skeggy run, especially with one of my kids, but unfortunately my 15yr old son has absolutely no interest at all in cycling it, and my 19yr old daughter wants to cycle it but is now working and our times off never coincide. So with no other person to cycle to Skeggy with I had to cycle it on my own, fortunately I don't mind cycling alone, armed with an MP3 player and off I went.
 When I first departed from my house is was very cloudy at 7:20am, but within half an hour the cloud started to burn away but was fairly cool and fresh with a slight breeze. I started off with with all good intentions of keeping a steady pace, I am by no means a fast cyclist at all, as I didn't want to overdo it and burn myself out, it wasn't long before I found myself actually riding at a higher average speed than I normally ride at.
One of the hills that I wasn't looking forward to was at Kirklington on the A617 around 17 miles into the journey, I stopped for a minute just for a quick drink to get some fluids in me before I attacked the hill, It did get me slightly out of breath and got my legs pumping but I did make it to the top without stopping, I was starting to get fully warmed up getting into a rhythm with a comfortable pace with pedalling cadence, The temperature had warmed up considerably since first stetting off. I had my first proper stop at 22 miles in between Hockerton and Averham were my wife had caught up with me in the car, I had a bite to eat with some malt loaf, banana and SIS energy drink and sachet of SIS energy gel for a major carbohydrate boost. Now all refuelled up I continued on and arranged to meet up with my wife in a further 10 miles which would take me to the other side of Newark near Beckingham at 33 miles into my journey, that 10 miles had gone very quickly, I was getting a good pace going now and was flying along eating up the miles easily, and arranged to meet in another 10 miles which I guessed would make it to around the half way point. 37 miles into my journey saw the start of another major hill climb on the newish Leadenham bypass, this hill I had been dreading but fortunately I was now on a real high and making good time and I flew up it at over 8mph with the help of a tail wind (well more of a breeze!), I couldn't believe how easily I made it up and really boosted my confidence, the halfway point of the trip getting closer in sight. the miles where getting easier every mile, I met up again with my wife at the next scheduled stop which was at the Cheerio Cafe (Halfway point). Arriving at the Cheerio Cafe, it had taken me 3.5hrs to get here, I felt really good although sweating like you wouldn't believe as the temp was now into the 20's and changed my long sleeve top for a short sleeve one. I stopped at the cafe to have a well deserved bacon butty and mug of coffee and some more energy gel.

 
      
Left pic, pulling into the Cheerio Cafe, Lincolnshire, Right - Setting off from cheerio cafe

The stop at the cheerio cafe lasted three quarters of an hour as the coffee was too bloody hot to drink, I didn't intend stopping this long and turned out to be a big mistake stopping that long, my legs had started to seize up, I told my wife to meet up again just off the Sleaford bypass at the rugby club or 10 miles whichever was furthest, although the rugby club turned out to be just a few miles down the road from the Cheerio cafe which we had just stopped at, so my wife carried on. I carried on to our agreed 10 mile meeting area which was North Kyme, I cycled through the village with no sign of my wife so carried on cycling, I got to the next village Billinghay a mile or so down the road, still no sign of the her, and cycled to the other other end of the village, still no sign of her, I'm starting to panic wondering where she had got to, wondering if I had passed her and not seen her so I decided to give here a phone call, she had had to carry on to Tattershall to find a WC, I arrived at Tattershall (57 miles into my Journey) to meet up with my wife, it had been approx 15 miles since my last stop at Cheerio cafe, I was tiring, my legs aching and my a$$ was killing me, the last 15 miles had been tough as I was tiring, although this particular section had been reasonably flat and easy going and my pace was still good. I set off again from Tattershall after a short break and another energy gel and arranging to meet in another 10 miles, which would take me to Revesby. this again was an easy section and still making good time but I was getting extremely exhausted, my legs struggling to pedal, they were aching quite bad, it didn't matter if I was on the flat or going up hill my legs still ached the same and I was extremely uncomfortable on the old rear end! I arrived at Revesby meeting point, my wife's sat nav saying 19.8 miles to go ( actually turned out to be around 17 miles as a new road not on sat nav bypassed a village knocking off a couple of miles off the journey)  until Skegness, I had something to eat, malt loaf, a banana, energy drink for an overload of carbs for the final stretch of the journey. My wife pulled in around 5 miles further down the road at East Keal to make sure I was ok, I was started to feel better when we met up again, I had another energy gel, we agreed to meet every 5miles, but East Keal would be the last time that I stopped before I hit the Skegness sign. From East Keal I had regained my energy, and was totally focused on getting to Skeg, all the carbs I ate/took were now kicking in from my stop at Revesby and I was now flying again, I was now in my elements, the end now in reach I was really focused and motivated, I had gone through the pain barrier and all was well, and the pace was picking up really well. I arranged to meet my wife at the Skegness sign to take a photo of me there, she missed the sign completely and went sailing past it. so I had to take a pic of just my bike and the Skeg sign, I phone my wife and told her to meet me at the clock tower on the sea front which took 11 mins from the Skegness sign.


Left pic, Skegness clock tower, Middle & Right - Skegness Beach


I have to say that this trip had been a big learning curve for me, I had not trained to do a long distance ride as I just normally ride 12 miles occasionally going up to 25 miles locally to were I live. I was extremely pleased with myself for doing and actually finishing this trip, it was a big achievement for me, I could have easily given up around 20 miles before the finish as I was absolutely shattered, but not wanting to give up so close to the finish I carried on, and its amazing were the reserve strength comes from once you get focused and get through the pain barrier so to speak.
 The things I learned most of all from this trip was:
 A), think positive, negative thoughts of not making it will grind you to a halt and make you want to give up, think positive and you will more than likely achieve the impossible?
 B) the use of high carbohydrate/protein food / drinks / gels to keep the body fuelled up during cycling. For me (in my experience) there is no substitute for food, all the energy drinks and gels in the world cannot replace food, but with decent frequent balanced foods (errr, not bacon butties at greasy spoon cafe's hahaha) for protein/carbs and taking supplements of energy drinks (minimum 500ml per hour) and energy gels (at least one per hour) will dramatically improve your energy levels, the gels giving a very significant boost within 10mins of taking, although only lasting a short period of time.
C) I found that Stopping for long periods really is a bad idea, stop for short periods no longer than 10 minutes rest time, even just stopping for a minute or two is enough for muscles to recover to relieve aching, don't over do it going too long without stops, if you feel tired and achy then rest and don't push yourself too hard outside your normal limits on a long run, you will burn out easily when you are not used to it.
D) As I never normally ride on the road (apart from a couple of miles to get to my local 'rail trails') I was surprised how much easier riding on the road actually is even on a mountain bike with dry XC tyres on, my average speed to Skegness was around 40% faster than riding on 'rail trails'
 

Times
 Overall time 7hrs 38mins 21secs,
Cycle computer data: Distance 85.43 miles, actual cycling time 6hrs 11mins 33secs, Average speed 13.8 mph (not including stops), Max Speed 29mph
Average speed including stops equating to 11.2 mph

Distance from Derbyshire to Skegness (miles) Actual cycling time Overall cycling time including stops Average speed (not including stops) maximum speed reached on route to Skegness
From Left, (1) trip mileage 85.56 miles,(2) Actual cycling time 6h 11m 52s. (3) Stop watch time inc stops 7h 38m 21s. (4) Average speed 13.8mph. (5) maximum speed 29mph

               



For my old Skeggy 2003 page click here

(C) 2009,Dave's Mountain Bike Mania