From our Nottinghamshire base camp, five team members enjoyed a long ride around north and east Lincolnshire on the so-called 'Arrow' Sportive, named due to the long straight stretches across the fenlands east of Lincoln City.
Following a 35km warm-up the day before, and a very enjoyable carbo loading session (or two), an early start saw us setting off at 0830 from Market Rasen Racecourse along very quiet lanes taking us towards Lincoln itself. We only saw two vehicles in the first hour of riding!
With the prominent cathedral spires looming ever closer, the roads got much busier as we approached the city, and this continued for the section south east towards Metheringham, with the usual idiotically close overtaking manoeuvres of some drivers making life a little interesting at times.
Straight roads across the fens took us to the little town of Woodhall Spa, home of England Golf, and after a second food stop in Bucknall we headed up into the southern end of the Lincolnshire Wolds, nice riding with extensive views back to Lincoln and a few hills to test tired legs.
A strong peloton finished the ride in bright sunshine, crossing the finishing line in just under 6 hours (riding time 5h 17m), having completed 130.5km and 900m of ascent.
This was a sportive arranged by Cycling Weekly, and was one of the best organised sportives we have experienced.
Note: this ride would have been a nightmare in windy, wet conditions, due to the exposed nature of the roads crossing the fens. The cycling gods were on our side for once!
|The usual pre-ride carbo loading session|
|We opted for the 'standard route,' a mere 130km (81 miles) and 900m of ascent|
|The wide arable landscapes of north Lincolnshire|
|Happy chappies at the finish. Thank goodness for fine weather and no wind!|
|The evidence! Courtesy of Strava.|