Haribo Joe, my brother Pete and I arrived at South Downs College just before 8. It was very well organised, quick check in etc. We even got a High5 energy pack worth £12, not bad when the entry fee was £18.
We then set off in a group of about 20 riders for 55 miles up and over the South Downs.
Almost straight away we were onto nice quiet roads which was pretty much how it stayed for most of the route.
It started off fairly flat to start with, but once past Hambledon you've got the long, steady climb up to the Bat and Ball pub. This is the start of the South Downs, so no more flat roads.
The feed stop was at East Meon at a church hall. Well stocked as you would expect, I was asked to move away from the jelly beans.
But the views made it worthwhile.
We were all working well as a team, every now and then letting Pete have a rest at the back.
We were also calling out if junctions were clear or not, apart from one junction where I was sure I heard Joe call out "Clear........sort of"
Luckily I checked for myself and saw the massive Land Rover bearing down on me. It was the first time I've had to unclip in an emergency.
Just after we saw the 10km to go marker I heard a strange noise but everything felt ok. A few minutes later I heard a tapping noise so stopped to check and realised I had broken a spoke.
This can be game over.
Luckily Pete managed to do enough for me to get me going. So I shot off more concerned about getting to the finish line than my team mates.
As I was steaming up to the top of Portsdown Hill my brother just glided along side me, had a quick chat and then reminded me that he is my older brother by powering away from me up the hill.
About a mile from the finish we turned left and for the first time got a tail wind.
We finished in 5 hours 18, a bit slow but we finished and enjoyed it.