Riders – Rob Bacon, Jason Smith, Simon Brierley and Ian Jones
The ride was daunting undertaken over three days; a total of 320 miles with about 5700 meters of climbing around Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and up onto Exmoor.
Rob and I stayed at a B&B on the A303. With heavy holiday traffic, which seemed to not let up all night, it felt more like Silverstone on F1 day!!! The breakfast however was certainly a perfect foundation for a long day in the saddle and we needed it!
Jason like the student he is blagged free accommodation from Simon’s parents; like a typical student I’ve been told even got preferential treatment over Simon.
Weather: Very windy with showers.
Rob, Jason and I finished stage one together and Simon struggled in behind with knee problems, which made his climbing really painful. Luckily however before he blew up on the climbs, Simon had a star role as the Iceni lead out man and sacrificed himself for the team! Only Jason stopped at the lunch break, as the other three of us somehow managed to missed the obvious day-glow signs for refreshments and more importantly missed the chicken coronation sandwiches. We were gutted and that was the last time Rob Bacon smiled until he rolled across the line at the end of day one. When Jason punctured, both Simon and I stayed with him whilst Rob spun up the road. Once done the chase was on……. Jason and I worked at 110% into a head wind to catch a large working group for a bit of shelter, however this was the point where Simon fell off the back with leg issues on the climb. 3 miles later a knackered Jason and I actually caught the group only to find that they pulled over and the work was for nothing…………………. We were gutted.
Whilst everyone carried gels and bars for consumption on the ride, Jason (Pikey Student) started collecting free gels and was finishing each day heavier. He later revealed that he had ‘collected’ about seventeen or eighteen gels and about a dozen little Humzinger bars! Jason is now happy to sell these and undercut the shop prices.
Punctures – Jason
Ian’s Garmin info – http://connect.garmin.com/activity/88507737
Weather: Very, very, very windy.
The day started with Pikey Jason cleaning his chain and to our horror used an old CCN shirt to wipe the oil off with. Personally from an Iceni point of view he should have used his new CCN shirt! J
Jason stayed with the Iceni boys about 3.2 seconds this morning and didn’t see him till the end; however we did get a series of ‘I was here, where are you’ texts from the feed stations. Simon didn’t start due to the injury from yesterday…….. Bloody light weight Iron man! Simon had a day sightseeing, drinking coffee’s and basically avoiding exercise, whilst the rest of us where flying the flag for Iceni!
Punctures – Jason again
Ian’s Garmin info – http://connect.garmin.com/activity/88834341
Weather: Not too much wind, but loads of rain
The rain was just like the autumn epic for those who remember which was the last thing you need after two big days already in your legs. The car park at start time of day three had only a small percentage of cars/riders unlike the two preceding days, as many riders must have thrown in the towel when looking at the weather forecast. Rob and I had a great ride, however I haven’t ever heard him swear so much as he did at the top of the biggest climb of the day! I sprinted ahead and stopped to take a picture of him whilst also chatting to an old couple of onlookers. Rob shouts f**k off! Who got me to do this f**king Tour of Wessex and followed by a second f**k off. Yep the old couple were astounded by his outburst, but I quickly explained that he was from the flat lands of Norfolk!
Jason was in his usual relaxing mood and as we started buggered off for a cup of tea. He came powering past Rob and I at about 15 miles and that was the last we saw of him.
Simon had a great ride and finished not long behind Jason, but I guess having a lazy rest day on day two helped him no end.
Punctures – Jason surprisingly again
Ian’s Garmin info – http://connect.garmin.com/activity/89165550
Simon threw together this quick video and uploaded this to YouTube naturally in a spare couple of minutes in the back of the van.
A great event and challenge in a wonderful part of the country and hope that more people will get to this one in 2012 to help flying the Iceni flag……..