Oban Sportive 29/09/13

Off to a Sportive event? 'Racing' a charity event or just going somewhere nice with your bike?

Oban Sportive 29/09/13

Postby Andy D » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:11 pm

Fiona took a wee break from being an international paracycling star to have a pootle round the inaugural Oban Sportive on Sunday 29th of September 2013.

I met up with her on her journey up from Manchester and headed to the beautiful seaside west coast gem of Oban, in glorious sunshine!! to stay with our good pal Jim Montgomery, now 72 years old but still strong as a Jens Voigt and a champion wheel-sitter!

We stayed in Jim and wife, Liz's lovely B&B (Tanglin, Oban - check it out if you are near there and say we sent you, Jim will keep you entertained with tales of yore and Liz will feed you to bursting point).

The night before the event was rather raucous and I probably downed in excess of a bottle of red, and so the choice of riding the 90 mile or 54 mile editions of the event was made for me...by my hangover :oops:

As it turned out, despite the continued glorious sunshine, the 54 miler was a brute of a ride. It was quite windy and very, very hilly - not long slogging climbs (although we did have one of about half a mile long at 20% to clamber over) but it was just constantly up and down around pretty much the whole ride. The pay off was that the route was through some of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever ridden a bike through, magical. (Although it has to be said that the roads were like farm tracks at times, but that seemed to add something for me....glad to have avoided any punctures but many were not so lucky)

We rode the first 1.5 hours with Jim but had to wait a couple of times as Fiona, despite now being a track specialist, appears to relish flying up hill, especially if there was another rider ahead of her. We opted to leave Jim behind after that, as I'm sure he did not want to hold Fiona back who, despite being sure that this was not a race, decided to push on at a fair rate until we got home. We completed the ride in 3 hours 14 minutes which was about 6th fastest overall and obviously fastest woman in the short event by about half and hour.

Jim was 22nd overall and the second oldest rider of the day...what a man!!

Fiona's pal, Jay Burgess (SWC) rode the long event and was 3rd overall on time in the long one in 4 hours 20-odd, I think.

The times really didn't matter, this was a first attempt at hosting a Sportive in Oban and if they can get weather like that again, I would probably do it again, it was genuinely a pleasure to ride in great company, in fabulous countryside in the wee gem of the West Coast, Oban.
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Andy D
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