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Monday, July 22, 2013

Crash, Bang, Wallop

In the world of the road cyclist they say that there are two types of riders.
Those who have crashed, and those who have not yet crashed.
The emphasis is seemingly on the inevitability of the occurrence.
Its funny how many anecdotes start with the collective 'They'
Sometimes there is a slight deviation where their certainty appears to waver.
In these rarer moments and they 'reckon' rather than 'say'

Either way Id like to know exactly who THEY are?
As far as cycling is concerned, don't we have any other options?
What about 'If you ride carefully and defensively, calling out wherever possible and wearing enough reflective gear to be seen from outer space?
Apparently 'They say' - that it does not matter! You will eventually CRASH
Charming !!!
But they were right

After a terrible winter that lasted right up to and beyond Easter, there was not much room for spring,
It came and went, barged aside by summer who gate crashed over the horizon.

With the warmth came the Lycra and gleaming bikes with shiny cassettes.
Much too new to have been cleaned that way, and surely never caressed by a chain.
Inexperience too.
The weekly Sportives post Brad have multiplied with as many each week as there were previously filling the entire calender.

In the Middle of June we did the Hornsea 100 km.
An Anglo Mule train across the Holderness Plain.
The poetry may have been lost on some, but our fluidity was something to admire.
Nigel - steering our paceline was more difficult than his Helicopter

Hitting the Holderness Plain

This was a warm up ride for our annual adventure down to Cambridgeshire for the 112 Mile Flat out on the Fens the following week.
We set off at 7am maintaining a speed close to 20 mph with a paceline the envy of many.
So much so that it grew and grew with solitary riders avoiding the strong winds at our expense.

After about 80 miles one of the signs appeared to have been moved which resulted in us (And everyone else on the road) taking the wrong route.
After about 7 miles we came to a T  Junction leading to a busy main road.
By this time one of the Motorcycle Marshall's had realised what had happened and escorted us back on track.
On the way we collected all of the oncoming riders and had soon amassed a large group of mixed abilities.
Unfortunately the true course presented us was a strong headwind and  narrow road to contend with. 
If you were at the back the pace must have seemed too slow
If you were at the front you were struggling to make headway against a blustery wind.
It all got very messy with riders pushing to the front  thinking they could pull the train along quicker.
On encountering the wind they often went slower still.
This created an inconsistent pace which constantly fluctuated and a concertinaed like a Squeezebox being played on acid

I guess it was inevitable as all the danger signs were there.
Crash, Bang, Wallop
Everything seemed to be in slow motion.
Screeching brakes, bikes, bodies and bottles, bouncing and bumping.
I avoided all and listened to my heart racing as I brought my bike to a stop, my hands frozen in a vice like grip on the brakes.
I took in a deep intake of breath and thanked my lucky stars.
Crash, Bang, Wallop..........Struck from behind my seat post swivelled turning me around to witness the mayhem.
Sadly the impact also buckled both my wheels and my event was over.

Thankfully it was only the event over and not the season which is now in full swing.
Over the coming days and weeks It will be a case of playing Catch up.
I have 'An adventure to the Moors', The Big G, and Katy Flatlands (USA) to write about.

In the next two weeks we also have an Anglo/US Mule adventure Coast to Coast and Ride London.
Its the Golden Era of Cycling.
Id better get typing

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