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Monday, April 16, 2012

Tale of Two Sportives

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

Paul Kirk Memorial Sportive, Brigg, Lincolnshire
0715 Beverley, UK ....... Mark pulls up outside my house, parks his car and knocks on my door.
 I don't open it fully as I don't want the snow or its deliverer (A cruel north East Wind) to enter my house.
I pass him my bike and tell him I wont be long.
My delay being due to the fact that my preparation time has been elongated. I had forgotten  how long it takes to put on 17 items of clothing

Tour De Braz, Alvin, Texas, USA
North Houston, Texas, 0400.........My twin brother Paddy loads the last ice chest into the cycle trailer, warm beer is never appreciated.
He then frantically seeks to stop his rivers of perspiration, by seeking refuge in his air conditioned gas guzzler.
The simplicity of only having to  put on four items of cycling clothing has enabled him to have a ten minute lie in.
Paul Kirk Memorial Sportive, Brigg, Lincolnshire
0800 Brigg, UK................Big coat or Lightweight coat mmmmmm........ Big coat. I reach into my rucksack and find some 'Little hotties' (Hand warmers) which I put in the rear of my shirt, jettosing a piece of flapjack to make room.
I put on my under gloves and then my heart sinks as I realise that I have left my outer winter gloves at home.
Fortunately Mark has a spare pair of woollen mitts which I unashamedly steal.
Its stoped snowing. Thank heaven.

Tour De Braz, Alvin, Texas, USA
0800 Alvin, Texas..........15, 20 or 25 the numbers are shouted out by Paddy.
Other nearby teams mistakenly think that The Mules team are talking about what speed they want to ride at. In reality they are debating sun block qualities.
The sunscreen may keep the UV rays at bay but not the wind. Its blowing some in Texas - 20/30 mph winds. Not fun

Paul Kirk Memorial Sportive, Brigg, Lincolnshire
As we set off I encourage Mark to set a good pace to help warm us up.
We rode south towards Lincoln and followed the river Trent.
As the morning unfolded the wind increased behind us - An ominous sign for the later stages, when when I knew we had to turn North.
Catching earlier riders we worked with them to maintain a respectable speed of just under 18 mph.
This was maintained to Market Rasen when the course split for the 100km and 100mile routes.
As we took the 100km option our decision to choose the shorter route was soon justified.
The wind had whipped up and was now in our faces with some wintry showers to add to the displeasure.
I don't know exactly how strong the wind was but pedalling downhill to achieve forward momentum was a good indicator. Further squally showers gathered around us and we were pleased to get back.
Our prize was a 'cup cake' each baked by one of the organisers
Tour De Braz, Alvin, Texas, USA
The US Mules had their own weather to contend with - 20+ mph winds now gusting up to 40 mph.
No gentle breezes in Texas you know.
Risk of being blown over -  Most Certainly Yes
Frostbite - No
Alvin is located to the south-east of Houston close to Galveston and has some great parkland.
Its name is not taken after one of its furry occupants but one of the settlers called 'Alvin Morgan'.
With another Morgan sailing his pirate ship in the Caribbean the 'Morgan' name was effectively 'Taken'  so Alvin it was.
Having survived all that the gulf could throw at them The US  Mules enjoyed a downwind return with speeds of 38 miles per hour achieved. WOW !!!!!!
The US Mules then returned to their trailer for some Bodingtons Beer..........(From Manchester)

Well done to all MULES for getting out there !!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post and very entertaining commentary. Keep on enjoying your bike, good sir!


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