Wet, windy and wonderful

Well done and a big thank-you to everybody who took part in Sunday’s Box Hill Original Sportive.

If it wasn’t the worst weather I had ever ridden in, it was pretty damn close. Never mind the absolutely torrential rain, those low temperatures and gusting winds, it was perhaps the flooded lanes that caused the biggest challenge.

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It was certainly very grim and I am simply amazed that there were more than 1,300 starters, including 30 extra riders who signed on that morning. I actually doubted my own sanity as I collected my rider number and headed out into the darkness. Some four hours later I was cold and soaked to the skin but I was happy in the satisfaction of having completed what was undoubtedly an epic.

Whether we were best described as finishers or survivors, we’ll certainly be talking about ‘the Wet One’ for some time to come.

I wouldn’t describe my experience as enjoyable in the conventional sense but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Which other sports can revel in such adversity? Despite it all, the overall mood throughout was upbeat and jovial and that’s despite all those punctures, potholes and pathetic drivers.

What a day, and what a ride.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine