Verita Stewart

Writer, blogger, social media | Racer of bikes with Specialized Women's Racing Team|

That was an unexpected epic adventure #womens100

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Lets just say that I’m glad that is over. Our simple Women’s 100 turned into a rather epic adventure.

So I’m here in France on a riding holiday with my partner Purdie, doing a organised tour run by friends, with friends.

We arrived in France yesterday, late. And got up this morning with the ladies in the group aiming to complete a very jet lagged the Rapha Women’s 100. The adventure probably started the moment after I put my bike together.

1. I ripped the cable right out of its housing, meaning I was stuck in the little ring all day. (the LBS does not open on a Sunday)

That was not going to be a real issue, I would be in the little ring for the majority of the ride anyway. Our route was taking us on a 100km, 1800m elevation loop up the Col du Spandelles and Col de la Croix Blanche. Easy.

2. It started raining on the ascent of the Spandelles. 1300 m above sea level. We were in a cloud.

3. Trace had a slight, slow, crash, slipping off on some mud. She is ok. So is her kit.

4. Kristina had a big crash on the Spandelles decent, sent her nearly off the side of the mountain and ended with her in hospital getting a check over.

She is ok. Battered and bruised, but ok. Her kit is not. Shredded.

5. Purdie got a flat on the Spandelles. This was at 35km. At least it was not raining now.

6. Going through a small town, post lunch, Purdie got another flat.

We did not have another 80mm tube. We spent the next 30 minutes scouting a small village for a spare. Ended up borrowing a valve extender from a German cyclist.

7. Upon trying to exit the village, got lost through the myriad of one way streets and after about 2km, we found ourselves back where we started.

8. Purdie got another flat. We discovered that the tyre had a massive gash in the sidewall, hence the flats.

We did not know what to do. Until, I remembered that I had a $5 Aussie not. Side wall problem solved. Now we needed a tube.

9. I found someone with a patch kit, and patched the tube from the first flat. I felt like Bear Grills. It was raining again now. We had 50km to go.

I would never thought I would ever patch a flat- but we were desperate to get the 100. Meanwhile, the guy who we borrowed the puncture kit from proceeded to fall off his bike in front of us.

9. We headed out of town, then got lost. Then found our way.

It stopped raining. The sun came out. #lightbro.

10. We pulled up 6km short of 100km. In a last minute attempt to get 100km, we rode down the road for 3km.It started raining. The heavens opened and it poured with rain for the entire time. That was karma.

In the end, we did the 100 in true Rapha epic style. We covered 100km in about 8.5 hours. It took us 10.5 hrs to do three peaks.

Our Women’s 100 attempt was destined to fail… But we made it in the end. Albeit, a little soggy, hungry and some of us missing some skin.

It was quite comical. Faulty towers esque. We are all ok, we are down one helmet, some skin and 3 tubes, we did it. We rode 100km alongside a global community of women who love riding their bikes, rain, hail or shine!

We smiled and laughed the entire time!

But, I was glad to get home, put some dry clothes on and eat some apple crumble and ice cream, twice. It was not as easy as planned!

Can’t wait to ride tomorrow! It’s raining. Get on your bike and ride it!

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You can follow me on Instagram @lowercasev. Photos taken on Go Pro Hero 3+ Black Edition #vsport #gopro

 

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Author: Verita Stewart

Cyclist for Specialized, Instagramer, blogger, desk sitter, coffee lover, recycler

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