I should have prepared everything last night but I’d gone to be instead. The only thing I’d prepared was buying a bread roll so that I could have a poached egg on it for breakfast. This meant a lot of rushing around to get my cycling equipment together and to get Gracie the trike out of the shed and her over Christmas hibernation.


I still managed to arrive at the HQ early. This gave plenty of time to have a cup of tea and to get Gracie out of the car. There were a few people I knew there so I passed the time chatting to them.


I’d brought along my go pro with the idea of making a time lapse video of the whole thing. I’ve not done this before so it was to be a little experiment.  I wasn’t sure if the battery was going to last the whole way round.

First leg

I ended up cycling with Mark and chatting away the first leg. At various points on the route we tangled with a sportive. This made it seem like all the lanes were full of bikes.


Mark is an aircraft engineer. He told me about his great aunt who, when he qualified, told him that she remembered the first flights being announced in the newspaper. We mused on the fact that there are now no more Victorians in the population.


Normally the route goes up a steep hill to a control but because the weather was rubbish the organiser had decided sending us up there would be too dangerous. Instead the controls was on a village green. Cutting out the hill took the sting out of the ride and went some way to atone for the sleety snow that had started to fall.

Second leg

I lost Mark somewhere near the end of the second leg. He is faster up hills that me and slowly disappeared into the distance once the slopes started. After a while it became obvious that I’d be finishing this ride alone. Somewhere along the slope I realised that the camera had stopped. The battery had run out. I had brought a spare only it was in my coat pocket. My coat was in the car.

Third leg

There were a few people at the control when I arrived. Mark had passed through 10 minutes before so there was no chance of catching him. I stayed long enough for a chat and an apple tart. I left as half a dozen people arrived. It felt good to know that I wasn’t last on the road. The last leg was over road I knew will, this took the sting out of navigating but not out of my legs. I felt like I was struggling all the way back and cursed myself for not doing more on the home trainer.


One feature of this event id the bowl of soup and bread roll at the end. It had been a cold ride and the soup was very welcome.


I got home and did a little housework, this included changing the bed sheets. Once I’d done as much as I wanted I ran a bath and sank into the warm bubbles for a long soak. It was heaven and made better by knowing that I’d soon be slipping between clean sheets


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