Press reporter Megi Rychlikova took part in a gruelling 55km Cycletta yesterday to help celebrate the Tour de Yorkshire. She describes her exhausting experience
I’ve done it! I’ve done 50km uphill and down dale in rain and, right at the end, a little bit of sun. I’m shattered but I feel great.
When I got up this morning my first thought was ‘Can I do it tomorrow?’ My next thought was ‘Which cycling jersey is thickest?’ In the end I wore both of them and a waterproof one.
When I was in the pen with everybody else at the start, we were all looking at each other and saying ‘Are we mad?’ But half an hour into the Cycletta, soaked through and having already done a couple of hills, I remembered just why I cycle.
It was still raining but it was marvellous spinning along the valley at 20kmh. By the Feed Zone 30km in I was feeling fine despite having fallen off when I locked my back wheel on a slippery steep downhill. All I got was a nettle sting.
But the worst hills were to come. We joined up with the riders who had done the longer sportive and the race route, which turned right and casually headed up hill on a 20 per cent slope.
The pros were expected to sprint for points on that hill, we dismounted en- masse and walked it. That was the worst bit.
There were hills to come but I stayed on my bike for all of them and finally, three hours and 46 minutes after leaving Roundhay Park, I came past crowds banging the barriers and cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. It was a marvellous moment, you can’t describe it.
Throughout the route, every now and again there were people by the side of the road, ordinary members of the public wearing rain coats and macs who had come out just to cheer us on.
When you are wondering if you can get up the hill and you see someone standing in pouring rain just to cheer you on you have to get up that hill.
Everyone who stood by the route helped me round the course. Thank you everyone.
Now I’m going in search of coffee. I think I’ve earned it.