Event: 17 June 2012
Location: Hitchin Rugby Club, Hitchin
Sunday 17 June saw the return of the Nomads Going Beyond Sportive. In celebration of the club's 80th Anniversary, the sportive, originally designed in 2011 as an 80Km circuit taking in pretty villages and rolling countryside, and due to popular demand an 80 mile distance was added in 2012.
After the wettest drought in history over the preceding weeks it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by clear skies and occasional sunshine for the second year running. One rider casually asking whether the local police had been contacted about the “strange yellow object observed in the sky”.
Riders were surprised before the start as each rider was presented with a high quality commemorative cycle jersey, more than one rider commenting that the quality of the jersey far outweighed their expectation. A theme that was set to continue throughout the day.
The routes diverged after less than a mile with the short course riders heading west through Pirton and the longer course heading north through Letchworth and Steeple Morden before the routes merged in the pretty village of Apsley End. Both routes took in quiet stretches of winding country roads with some glorious landscapes thrown in, a few gentle undulations and plenty of relaxed riding.
By the time the riders arrived at Emily’s teashop in Whitwell, many were pleased to take advantage of the pleasant surroundings, well stocked feed station and the chance of a short break. Newcomers to Go Beyond events were generous in their praise for the signature fruit cake which has gathered quite a reputation amongst endurance athletes and with the added benefit of cafe facilities some were seen to spend a considerable time catching up with new found friends before continuing their tour of Hertfordshire.
With over 100 riders completing the two courses on offer and universal praise for both courses, the support and especially the value for money the Sportive is set to become a popular local event in future years.
With all proceeds from the event going to UK charity Teach Africa, providing an opportunity for schooling to some of the brightest children from the Nairobi slums, there are many reasons to celebrate this bright newcomer to the sportive scene.
Organisers would like to extend their thanks to all riders for making this such an enjoyable day, to Corby photography who covered many miles capturing the ride, Emily’s teashop for a restful break from riding, and all supporters for making the event so memorable for all the right reasons.
Finish times are available from: http://gobeyondultra.co.uk/Results_2012