It was a pretty relaxed affair at the start of the 104 mile sportive. The weather was blustery but the sun made an appearance and it was dry. The Cyclone sets off from a rugby ground in Newcastle and winds its way around central Northumberland taking in any medium sized and big hill the organisers can find.
I said hello to most I recognised early on, although with many in skid-lids and shades, its not always easy to see who's who. There was a healthy tailwind for the first 20 miles and we fairly flew up the lanes. As the mileage increased and the wind direction changed things got tougher, but I was in good spirits and had a fast 60 miles before I began to feel the pace. I had latched on to the Breeze Bikes crowd and then later we caught up with the Steels lads at Rothbury. After an awful climb out of Bellingham I spent time with a couple from the Sunderland Clarion around Wark. The weather was great in places and made for a good day out.
I had to walk up the last 30metres of the last big climb as a result of being overgeared, and was later dragged ignominously through the villages for the last 10 miles when I admitted defeat. 6hr.22min (6:14 of riding) and 8000 calories and I'll sleep well tonight.