Or, A Year Of Madness
The sad tale of one man's - failed - bewildering attempt to get into the 1,200k endurance cycle event, from Paris to Brest and then back again, in August 2011. Oh, and walk 100 miles non-stop in May. And run a marathon - all in within 12 months. The marathon went OK, the walk was fine and the final qualifying ride was too close to the 100 mile walk. So the Pointless Project goes on for another four years untilk PBP comes round again in 2015.....
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
The Gatliff Marathon, 35k walk from Edenbridge, on Sunday November 23. The aim is to finish inside 10 hours, I did it, as usual, in nine hours. Very muddy underfoot, nice and chilly day, all went well and we were back home in time for tea and medals.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Briefly, because I don't think you want to read screeds, I went with Rob my mate, in his campervan across France (two days of driving) to a campsite in Saint Jean de Luz near Biarritz, by the Spanish border. We rose at 5am and rode across the border to the bus station at Irun, where we put the bikes on the coach and went to Madrid, where we changed at took another bus to Guadalajara, which is 20k to the east of Madrid. We didn't want to ride across Madrid - who would? After a night at Guadalajara, we rode to Siguenze, Almazan, Cervera del Rio Alhamba (I think), the Puente del Reine, then across Pamplona to cross the Pyrenees (in a torrential cold rainstorm) to the Basque town of Elizondo (arrived dripping wet) and then downhill and back to the van on the campsite. We had a couple of days lazing about then drove home, crossing the Channel on Sunday November 3. So, with the January trip, that is Spain done and dusted and I crossed France from south to north in 2011, so the next trip is across the north coast of France, from St Malo to Calais - that'll be two weeks in July. Before then, there is a week riding from Caen to Bordeaux in May, as a recce for the "proper" ride with The Fridays, a cycle club, in June. Also before then is a we in April in the Outer Herides, AKA the Western Isles. Er, that's it. I bashed my elbow on a farm gate in August and it hurts like hell even now - the doc says it's tenns elbow ad will get beter eventually. Typing makes it worse, so BYEEEE! ooops - nearly forgot http://www.flickr.com/photos/29651652@N06/sets/72157637272871686/ is a link to the videos and pix.
Friday, 6 September 2013
An excellent trip, I can't believe it went so well. The cyclepath alongside the Danube is reputed to be one of the most popular long-distance cycle touring routes in Europe, and I can see why. It is pan flat for the whole length, with just the occasional bump, there is lots to look at, loads of tourist facilities such as cafes, restaurants, campsites, hostels, guest houses, lots to visit. The weather was generally good - I wore shorts the whole time, the cost of living cheaper than in France and lots of people speak english. Flying home with easyjet was dead easy, we just bought a couple of dustsheets from a DIY store and a lot of parcel tape, and wrapped the bikes in that when we got to the airport. Apart from a puncture in the front tyre (I still can't see how that happened because the tyre was rock solid when we arrived at security, and they made us let the air out, which we did, and on arrival at Gatwick I couldn't get any air back into the front.) the bikes were handled faultlessly.
Thursday, 15 August 2013
............a few days on the bike with Dave, as we pottered across the centre of Kent to camp near Tenterden, then across Romney Marsh (sea level) to climb up to the tops of the White Cliffs of dover from Folkestone, then down to Dover port (sea level) and back up to the tops of the White Cliffs again. All v hilly. then flat as anything to Ramsgate, camped there and round the coast to herne Bay where we then pottered to Canterbury and took the train home. All very pleasant. Bike is much better than the Galaxy for carrying a lot of camping kit.
Saturday, 3 August 2013
...........is a 1,400k audax cycle event that takes place every four years. I thought I'd have a go this time. After a brief and disturbed night of not cleeping in the overheated Travelodge at Enfield, in northwest London, I rode 5k to the start. A 10am departure for me (there are 1,000 riders who start in groups 15 minutes apart) meant arrival at Market Rasen at 10.30pm where I had a meal of roast pork, roast potatoes, beans, soup, and tea plus three hours of sleep. Then a ride of 23 hours through Pocklington, Thirsk, Barnard Castle and across Yad Moss in the dark, to Brampton where I arrived after 23 hours on the bike at 2am on Tuesday and because by this time I was holding on to the walls to stay upright, I had five hours sleep, leaving about 8.30am on the Tuesday. I arrived at Moffat as the control was closing and this meant if I continued to Edinburgh I would arrive as the control was closing, meaning I could not sleep there and would have to continue southwards through Eskdalemuir and at each control going south would be running out of time. Also I was knackered. So i packed it in and took the train from Lockerbie to London, cost £106.45 and worth every penny these trains are great.I was home at midnight. I had five objectives and achieved three of them: I rode to Scotland, saw Lockerbie, and reached by clean clothes at Moffat. I didn't get to Edinburgh nor did I reach 1,000k. But it was a great ride, I really enjoyed it. Once at home I had a night of sleep and offered to help as a volunteer at the finish so drove up to Loughton and helped from noon on Thursday until 10am on Friday with two hours of sleep in the back of my car snatched somewhere in the early hours of Friday. It was excellent to put something back into the sport and to help riders arriving, knackered, after 1,419k. Of course, I knew many of them because I had ridden with them on the way up! Because I was a volunteer I have guaranteed entry next time, so I might ride or I might help out, which is extremely rewarding. It was a great experience, thoroughly worth while. Very positive time for both riders and volunteers. Next is a ride alongside the Danube with friends, which I will be more relaxing, i can assure you.
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Briefly Another week at Plas y Brenin for assessment as a mountain leader, and i was home on Sunday after the hottest week in the mountains I can remember, even including Nepal and the Alps..... My brain is now full of the next adventure - the 1,400k London Edinburgh London audax, which I start at 10am on Sunday July 28 and have 115 hours 20 minutes to finish, including all stops for sleep, food, traffic lights, punctures, etc etc. Not sure if I can do it, but I'm in it so I'll go the start and begin to pedal. Watch this space. ........ But not a at least week as I shall be otherwise engaged.....
Monday, 8 July 2013
...... a minor milestone passed. I rode the Medway Meander, a 200k route that i had done twice before, and that is my 11th of the 12 needed to get a small badge. This is the hardest of all the audax awards to win because it involves riding a 200k every month of the year, obvs including right through the winter. So I now have just one more to do.