I’ve been fossicking in the cyber skip again and recovered my account of the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris. As in 1999, I rode a recumbent trike, but this time it was even lower and considerably lighter.
My first PBP was in 1999, on a low recumbent trike, though I’ll be on a more conventional machine this time. I recovered the following account of my ride, originally written for the Audax UK magazine Arrivée, from a file in a long-obsolete version of Word. Enjoy… And apologies for the lack of pictures
At the finish of the inaugural Wild Atlantic Way Audax (WAWA)—2,100km of hills, rain, and wind on the scenic west coast of Ireland, to be covered in 7 days and 7 hours—I struggled to sum up my experience to Eamon Nealon, the organiser. I’ll remember this ride as long as I live (I told him), which may not be very long if I do many events as hard as this…
So here’s my A-Z of the WAWA. I hope it’ll give you a flavour of the longest and most memorable ride of my randonneuring career.
This is a report on the 2001 London-Edinburgh-London (more accurately, Thorne-Edinburgh-London-Thorne), which I rode on a prototype Trice Micro, a lightweight recumbent trike. The event was on a much smaller scale than LEL 2013, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun…
By this point in my LEL preparations, I should in theory have done a couple of 400s and a 600. The first 400, Shawn Shaw’s Porkers, ended with a coughing fit in pitch-black Somerset lanes—a return of the lurgy that meant I didn’t even start the Hard-Boiled. The second 400, Mike Wigley’s Llanfair PG, was a joy from start to finish. Work-related travel meant I’d be unable to make the Brimstone or most of the other calendar 600s, so I showed up for Ian Hennessey’s Kernow and Southwest 600 the weekend after the Llanfair ride. Unfortunately my motivation failed to turn up with me, so I bailed when it became clear that at the current rate of progress I’d have minimal sleep time. OK, no 600s completed so far, and only one 400. What now? The answer: a summer Arrow to York—a team ride with the spirit of our late lamented friend, Dave Lewis. Here’s how it went.
The fourth 200 of the calendar year… A dry forecast, so I could take the proper audax bike rather than the tourer… This was going to be easy, right?
Another old ride report, in which I seem to be channelling P.G. Wodehouse. This ride, up to Scarborough, included a crossing of the Humber Bridge, which will also feature on this year’s Edinburgh-London. It’s an elegant structure, and also a popular suicide spot (a fact that becomes readily comprehensible when you ride through Barton-on-Humber)…
With London-Edinburgh-London coming up in July, I thought I’d repost my long account of the 1997 LEL. This year’s route will be somewhat different—a bit less flat—and the event will be on a much larger scale, but I think this account still gives you a sense of what you can expect. I rode a recumbent trike on this LEL, although nowadays I usually ride a conventional bike on events.
Dave Lewis, an AUK legend who died last week, features in the story, dispensing bonhomie and encouragement, as always. Here he is sampling my trike: