The last couple of weekends have been spent riding Paris-Brest-Paris qualifiers. On May 9th/10th, the 400 km ride was ticked off. There followed a week of ‘Calorie Clawback’, before the 600 km ride on Saturday May 16th.
Participants for the ride were the world 24 hour Time Trial champion, Stuart Birnie, and a bearded chap called Adrian who hopes to win the 4300 miles TransAm bike race in June.
When presented with the knowledge of The Wattmeister’s Strava KOM on Sprint to Ridge Sign, the two young gentlemen became unsettled and decided accept his offer of a head start…..never to be seen again.
Meanwhile the remaining five riders agreed to set off together, led by Mark and Jane on the magnificent Longstaff tandem trike.
Before long, the trike’s bottom bracket began to unscrew itself which resulted in running repairs before an off-course visit to TwoWheelsThame bike shop where the problem was speedily fixed.
Thus delayed, the quintet meandered through exquisite countryside. Daytime passed though its phases until the sun set over Salisbury Plain. The temperature plummeted and wildlife came out to play on the lanes. Deer, badger, owls, mice and foxes flirted with the tarmac. The Wattmeister’s bike handling skills were tested as he slalomed through the fauna.
At 6.30 a.m after a few hours kip in Ilminster some 320 kms into the ride, the ‘barrow’ stole a march on the pursuing trio. Powered by Mark’s prodigious flatulence and Jane’s unyielding patience in the face of (literally) such an onslaught, it was some time before they were caught. Predictably, Mark needed his second or even third breakfast and had stopped at the very friendly Riverside Café in West Stour on the A30.
In the morning sunshine the landscape wore an emerald cloak drenched with hawthorn blossom, rapeseed and a myriad of colours bestowed on the riders courtesy of legions of wild flowers. Entranced by this ephemeral scene, The Wattmeister switched to touring mode on the approach to Salisbury.
The trike was parked outside an ‘audax hotel’ **, and it was the last sighting until the end of the ride.
Joss and TW pushed on to the finish some 200 kms distant in an attempt to beat the night and make up some of the lost time from Saturday.
A total of 600 kms ridden in about 28 hours on the bike: 11 hours eating, drinking and sleeping.
The Wattmeister can recommend the padding in the MHP bibshorts. Sitting down has never felt so good.
** Bus Shelter