Another weekend, another sportive, my 5th of the year and 3rd in April. This one was in Rutland, starting out at the Giant store next to Rutland Water and in spitting distance from the dramatic Normanton Church. The church was below the water level when Rutland Water was created in the early 1970’s, when two towns were submerged, but the upper part of the church was saved and it now is simply gobsmacking.
It was another early start and for a 20 mile ride we had a two mile roll back and forth between the car park and the start line so all in we did just over 24 miles. It was a very nice ride, pleasantly warm and sunny when the sun was out, chilly when it hid behind the clouds. We had the usual clothing challenge of starting out at about 2oC with warm gloves and then needing to strip back as we rode and the morning began to warm up – well I did, Erik’s only concession to the day was to wear sunglasses, otherwise he was wrapped up the whole time!
The CiCLE Tour, organised by Dare2B, was nicely planned and signs were clear and plentiful so we didn’t have any moments of confusion or getting lost at all, and most of the roads we were on were quiet and almost traffic free. It seemed pretty hilly, with nearly as much height climbed as last week’s ride, which was 70% longer, so, despite the shorter distance, I did end up walking up several hills.
My idea of a nice sportive includes taking in the views and stopping for the odd photo as well as snacks along the way. I’m much less interested in how fast I go. On this sportive we saw an awesome viaduct and cycled under it. Google tells me it was the Welland Viaduct (also called the Harringworth or Seaton Viaduct). According to Wikipedia, it was completed in 1878 and has 82 arches, each with a span of 12 metres (40 feet). It is the longest masonry viaduct in Britain and is Grade II listed.
Twenty some miles later and we were back where we started at the Giant store. The registration fee included food, so we got a nice cheeseburger each as well as the obligatory water bottle, assorted gels and snack bars. On the way back to the car park we had some fun with the camera taking shots with the self-timer—none of that selfie malarkey for us—no, we did it the old fashioned way of pushing the button and running round to the front. It only took 8 shots to get the shot at the top of the page!