Before the off:
"So come alive with the rolling people
Don't ask why
We just know" *
Manchester to blackpool in aid of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice. 60 odd miles .Fixie Fixed wheel .
All in all a very well organised event . Superb crack on the road . A real feeling of cameraderie ,taking back the streets ,and all that with over 8000 others. Good near perfect weather too.
Fixed wheels is the way forward ,as it were. I'm not saying the lack of gears and general modern accoutrements is correct in every situation ,but even with a few lumps here and there ,it was pretty good. Downhills are ,um ,challenging ,but they bob along quite well anywhere else. We did it in just over 4hrs inc' a few feed stops . OK ,I suppose.
Scary moment coming into Preston I hit two potholey/grids at top speed ,the first unsettling me and the second nearly having me off at about 25+mph.
My own personal less enjoyable bit came as we hit the windmill near Lytham a few miles from the finish . I suddenly became V.tired . I dunno . I'd filled my bottle at the feed stop in Preston ,something like an hour previous ,and from there we'd set a fairly cracking pace. Into a stiff headwind I was really struggling ,although still overtaking a few riders , but really bonking ,running on empty. I grabbed my bottle, and from Preston I'd only had maybe a mouthful. Doh ! . I chugged a good half of the bottle and basically instantly ,well,within minutes , felt back to normal . It was right near the end ,but it just goes to show how important it is to fuel up the old bod.
Alan,had a good day too. He was running his Surly with a slightly lower gear than me . Only a few teeth in it ,but whilst it's a bit easier going uphill ,coming down is not so good . His legs quickly maxed out at terminal velocity , making for sketchy descents. Whilst I was 'digging deep' coming out of Lytham ,he was on the back of a bunch winding up to the finish in a team time trial stylee.
As last week ,Toby did ace ,on basically his second ever proper bike ride ,albeit with gears etc etc , pah ! He was flying along nicely .Quite an impressive result ,and hopefully not his last .
Mark ( the weirdo out of the shop ) and Paul (the weirdo out of the shop's mate)were chilling out on their Cannondale mountainbikes ,slick tyred up of course. They did OK coming in a while after us looking a bit tired ,but in good spirits. Well done . For someone who doesnt regularly cycle ,it's quite a thing.
Alex drove the van and fixed some punctures wearing a fancy shirt.
Oh ,and Alan smashed up the van before we'd even set off ,ensuring the classic ride status of the day for all time.
You'll have to google for some pictures ,cos I only took one and it was a bit rubbish.
* The verve . Rolling people . Roll on next year.