It was a grand day out a-wheel, by all accounts
We set off 127 riders on the 200km event to Framlingham, and 38 riders on the 100km event to Thaxted and Saffron Walden. ALL the 100km riders finished — it was the same in March on the Spring Dash 100. However, we had a number of "real DNFs" on the 200 — five I think, including duff knees, "multimechanicals" and one inexplicable. Nevertheless, everyone seemed to enjoy the rides
The Great Framlingham Sausage Festival on the 200km event was visited in the rain and wasn't quite as exciting as pre-sold in the marketing, from what I hear. Nevertheless, two riders did make it all the way to the castle and validated there, as well as taking part in the sausage taste-test
The Maglia Rosso gave great service and I've read several reports from riders who were effusive about the service, the atmosphere and the food
A big thank you to Tippers_Kiwi for stamping cards there, which greatly assisted throughput
On the 100 event some riders took caik in Thaxted, not realising that Bicicletta at the next control in Saffron Walden really is a nice café and worth stopping at, but by then they were caiked-out
Two of the three tandems on the 100 event had been a bit apprehensive about how much climbing would be involved — around Cambridge area, "climbing" is a relative term. I'd tried to include a couple of local biggies, but afterwards they reported they barely noticed them, that's how flat it is around here
Many thanks to fhoot and bhoot for stamping cards at the first control, after the shop there closed down
Back at arrivée, Mrs W put on a couple of tasty soups and stews — the late arrivals on the 200km event were particularly pleased to have something hot inside them, as it cooled down a lot after about 7pm. It was also interesting to observe the distinct change in dietary preferences as the day wore on. And the omnipresent caik — at least it's omnipresent
— was gratefully received. Thank you Mrs WB for being Mrs WB x
And thank you to Gareth for running the desk all day — an enormous help — and to the two junior WBs for getting cars parked safely and being generally useful oddbods
In the end I don't know just how golden the trees were on the routes, but it was definitely autumnal, because one 2km stretch of lanes was reported to be littered with hedge trimmings and there was a number of riders who had to stop for a visitation. The penultimate group back mentioned one of their number had suffered four
p*nctires on his own!
Finally, I was pleased to see quite a number of riders from my Cambridge Spring Dash 100km event in March stepping up to their first 200km yesterday — and finishing successfully. There were also a number of other first-timers who have their eye on LEL in 2017 as their big personal challenge and were just starting their campaigns
Next up: another slice of The Cambridge Pork Pie in March, date TBD.