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.....

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin, only just found your blog! I think riding LEL is beyond me but seriously thinking of volunteering at a control in 2017.
    All the best,