Ian and Pauline Why organised a superb mid-week Audax yesterday. Ian had ordered good weather for the event and it was delivered in buckets and on time. This was to the complete satisfaction of all riders, many of whom were stripped down to shorts and summer jerseys.
Ian and Pauline’s smooth management of the signing on process lent a calm and unruffled atmosphere to the start of the event, coping easily with over half of the 40+ strong field who were entering-on-the-line. They also laid on Ray Kelly to provide background banter and to test drive the cafe’s bacon sarny/cappuccino combo – a brave man that!
As soon as ten o’clock arrived, we left – sorry ten o’clock it was nothing personal. The Captain, Miles Back and Mrs Back rode as a team, immediately setting a tempo that enabled us to move in to a very strong and unassailable last position.
Once out of Maidhead the route settled in to a string of quite and delightful lanes as we streamed along to the turn at Pangbourne. All the necessary info controls were in safe positions, easy to locate and simple to remember. After a short excursion off route in Pangbourne to cycle past the Lamborghini shows rooms we were soon in the Pangbourne cafe to be greeted by Jim and Wendy Mears on Brevet card stamping duties.
I had my customary mid ride meal of beans on toast. Danny Pollock of the Gregarios is renouned for setting standards for this bean based nutrition. My serving rated an impressive 9/10 on the Pollox scale.
Whilst on my second cappuccino Jim reveled that Jim McKay had not been though yet. This could not be true – Jim nips along at formidable pace. I thought he must have whizzed through so fast that he was somehow missed. Moments later my jaw swung open as Mr McK appeared. He was missing his chain, his rear derailleur and most of the skin off one knuckle. A pothole had unseated him and whilst lying on the ground he also managed to break the fall of the following rider. A bit shocked but reasonably in tact Jim had to abandon and was ferried back home by the ever helpful Jim and Wendy.
The return leg saw the Captain make a calculated attack – to me it had all the hallmarks of a hard rider off to film lambs is a field to post on to Facebook. The hills of the second half of the ride were quite demanding and we arrived back at a deserted finish except for Ian and Pauline had dutifully waited for us to return.