A few weeks ago I got an email about the Wiggle Super Series Mega Meon sportive. Free photos from Sportivephoto.com were on offer! Feeling in the mood I signed up for the 100 mile epic route.
Given that my last Wiggle sportive was literally a wash out (not to mention frustration with the timings being wrong), I was hoping this would be more enjoyable. Arriving at South Downs College, which was the start/finish, things were looking good. The weather was nice, plenty of parking on site (no muddy fields!), and lots of people looking eager to get riding!
When I registered I found that I hadn't signed up early enough to get the free High-5 goodie pack, which was frustrating as on my last sportive I was give the goodie pack, but because I was staying in a B&B a few miles away I had ridden to the start, had nowhere to put it and ended up giving it to someone else. Anyway, I fastened on my number and headed to the start line. It was well organised with little waiting to get off. I passed through the start around 7.30am.
After a slow start to warm up, I found myself riding with a pretty large group including several riders from Portsmouth North End CC and Fareham Wheelers CC. We were whipping along pretty quickly and shed a few riders on the climbs until we were down to around 8. When we got to the first food stop I decided to continue without stopping in order to stay in the group. This was a bit of a mistake as a few miles down the road my chain came off and got jammed in the front mech as I tried to get it back on. I had to get off and get my hands dirty, and by the time I was off again there was no chance of catching the group. I rode along to the second food stop on my own. Despite scoffing everything on offer at the second stop, later on I got really low on energy and really started to regret missing the first one. I was hot, hungry and thirsty. I passed a bus stop with a very inviting shelter and promised myself I'd rest if I saw another. Another came up quickly and I sat down and ate my emergency cheese and pickle sandwich, and finished off one of my water bottles, which made me feel a lot better.
The route was very pleasant with some beautiful views across the rolling farmland of the Meon valley. The weather stayed good all day and even the timing seemed to work this time. Overall a really good day. The only downside was the disappointment of seeing one or two riders who were perfectly happy to throw litter in what is an amazingly beautiful place. What makes them think its OK to throw gel and cereal bar wrappers is beyond me. Idiots.
The official time was 6h 16m which I was happy with and agrees with my Strava timing.