The Old Squit 200km Audax started at 8am on 2nd March three Brecklanders tried their hand at the Norfolk’n'good ‘Old Squit’ 200kms. Jon Periam and Geoff Muller rode around, Geoff was plagued by punctures but Jon managed to still make it to son Henry’s birthday meal in Halesworth, only 15 minutes late. Meanwhile Martin Badham was applying the latest test to his knee. starting at the head of the field, excepting those 7am starters, to proceed backwards through the field until he arrived at the first, Sandringham, control (note: must mention to HRM that the visitor’s centre really does need to add beans-on-toast to the menu) with Jan Roberts. Jan needed to ‘phone home, so expecting him to catch up on the leg to Salthouse. The tail wind and glorious scenery must have inspired me as I had finished my soup at the British Columbia Hall (subscribed to by the citizens of BC to replace the Salthouse Reading Room destroyed in the 1953 floods) so I pressed on alone across the chord of North East Norfolk to Sea Palling. There in the dark I was preparing to get on when Jan arrived, the opportunity to share the dark hours with someone and the offer of a mug of milky coffee persuaded me to hang on and the two of us finished the ride off in 13 hours 20 minutes.
Another fantastic promotion from Keith, Sue and the gang.
Yesterday, 16th June, last night and into the early hours of this morning Jon Periam & Mark Fairhead rode the National 400 km Audax organised by Keith Harrison, Sue and the band of merry helper.
Martin Badham was busy stamping brevet cards at Barnham Broom VH.
Jon (mile muncher) Periam finished just before 4.00am whilst I followed in just after 5.00am.
The weather at least stayed dry for once, apart from the horrendous wind.
Of 75 starters, 72 reached Banham Broom, the first just before 6:00pm (245kms in 8hrs 57 mins).
The first rider to finish reached Hempnall at 12:45am.
Event had to be called off I’m afraid. At the time I made the decision it was almost impossible to see riders from more than a few yards away, the rain was torrential and large stones and considerable quantities of crap of all descriptions was sloshing into the road. I know some riders would have been happy to continue, but my concern was safety and I felt the event had moved into the area of unjustifiable risk.
Thanks to everyone who turned out, and to my stalwart marshalling, timekeeping and catering crews. The shared suffering aspect of the event made for a good atmosphere at HQ! Sorry to those who would have continued, but you might have seen things differently if you were looking at it from the side of the road.
Next year ….
Geoff’s letter to all participants:
CCB 25 – Message from Event Sec
Scene: The Shaftesbury Springtime 200km Audax, and three tricyclists had entered, Jane Swain, Ian Mackenzie and Martin Badham. We set off together and rode with the fall-over machines, sliding around the greasy corner which claimed a few victims. When Jane was on the front the ‘old guys’ had their work cut out to hang on, so it wasn’t too much disappointment when she declared that she was bouncing the 50km café stop. My thinking was that I knew where my bread-pudding was buttered. From then on it was generally head-wind across the hills of North Essex. Then it was beans-on-toast at the HQ before beginning the second 100kms. The wind persisted across North Herts, crossing with the rest of the TA East contingent who’d lunched in Little Hadham – thanks for the cheers chaps. Arrived at the café in Baldock – till still out of date and time! – then over the border to Cambridgeshire and the info control at Guilden Morden where a couple of guys on bikes were having difficulty with their navigation so tagged along with the bearer of a GPS until he dropped off of the back. Eventually we separated when they were so far ahead at a left turn that our shouts couldn’t reach them – they consulted the route sheet at the next pub and finished a little after Ian and I. We finished just inside 13 hours, before riding to join Ferg and the rest of the gang at the Comet Hut for Frieda’s splendid spag-bol and some muscle relaxant. Jane sped round in 11 hours 27 minutes which, though outside her target, was a personal best. She is riding the ‘Up the ‘Uts’ next weekend, the sub-11 hours is out there lass, go for it!
I believe the rest of the Breckland audaxes are riding the ‘Uts events but this was my only chance to get a randonée in during March so had to miss the 10.