After an early start 3 of use set out from Fratton to attempt a fixed gear century. This was a first for both Joe and myself, although I have done many geared centuries Joe’s longest ride to date was only 54 miles!
|First stop of the day|
All went well for the first 25 miles, where we were even treated to a Japanese waterfall.
But it couldn’t last and shortly after the road inexplicably turned into something more reminiscent of a bridle way. Ah, the joy’s of Google Maps and back country roads!
To make matters worse there was a pheasant shoot taking place in the fields right next to us! We got our heads down and retreated back the way we had come and decided to freestyle the rest of the ride as the Garmin navigation was now little help.
As we turned down another particularly steep and slippy road we were meet by a Land Rover coming the other way. In the blink of an eye Joe’s front wheel slid out in front of him and I watched as he went careering over the bars and off to the side. He jumped up quick as a flash, but was clearly in shock and after checking himself over found no major damage had been done. Despite the offer of a helicopter ride to the closes hospital by the extremely posh hunters.
After the getting lost and near death experiences of the morning we were well behind schedule and pushed hard to make up some time. Luck was on our side as we hit some faster, smoother, but busier roads and just as we turned off on to a quieter road so did a couple of roadies coming the other way. We said hi, but despite all there gears and the thousands of pounds they had spent on their ‘fast’ bikes we had to drop them at the first hill #YouCantBuyLegs.
We were all getting a bit peckish by now so stopped at the first welcoming pub we could see, The Castle of Comfort in Medstead. What with having our bikes with us we opted to sit outside. As Ben had a call of nature he pop into the pub and was going to pick up some menus of the way out. As he returned from the loo the barman started shouting at him for not asking before using them. This quickly escalated and by the time Joe inquired as to the issue the barman had was told to ‘Piss Off’, funnily enough prosaically what Ben had gone in to do! We left the worlds must unwelcoming pub and headed on to Alresford, where my faith in the welcoming nature of English pubs was restored by the good folks at the Horse & Groom who offered for us to walk our bikes through the pub to their garden.
After a bite to eat we hatched a plan for the remained of the ride and opted to go direct to Winchester before taking our usual route him. By our very lose calculations this should get us back to Spice Island Pompey bang on 100 miles.
We made it to Winchester despite the rain and turned south for home. The pace was strong on the familiar roads and we soon made it to Biships Waltham and The Crown Inn for a sugar hit in the form of a coke.
|Winchester viaduct cyclepath|
The penultimate leg took up up the back of Portsdown hill before, dropping us back down to Havant, where we refueled briefly before starting the last stage of the ride.
With the excitement of making it to the Southsea seafront we for some reason upped our pace, just to make sure there was nothing left in the tank upon finishing. After a miner miss calculation we had to ride the seafront twice before finaly making it to Spice Island and a well earned pint!
Welcome to the ‘fixed’ century club!
If anyone else locally rides fixed and wants to join us on any future rides please do get in touch. Tuesday fixed rides leave bikeUlike on Albert road at 18:30 every week, we ride nearly every weekend and play bike polo in Bransbury Park every Friday at 19:00.