In the wake of Chris Froome’s triumphant victoire. I was eager to commence my mini tour. Invitee to ‘Le Jog’ and team ChainLUBE, a reunion of old friends and significantly my first big ride since a Toyota MR2 sent me from bicycle to a spinal board three months earlier… time to get back on the steel horse. *clenches bum.
0930 down town Plymouth meeting with the grey Atlantic sea fret. A welcome haar by all accounts. After a heavy session the previous day, odometers now boasting four digits, the boys were in a bad place, the John Wayne stance said it all.
Fuelled up on pasties we got going…the Shimano symphony sung in unison as the tamar bridge expelled us from the back passage of Devon. Kernow a’gas dynergh. Welcome to Cornwall.
Respectfully I slotted into le derrière of le peleton, full of ‘big ring’ gusto. This was to be my undoing as after a couple of ventures to ‘la tête de la course’ I noticed my legs seemed to be generating significantly less wattage than the finely chiseled hams of Aldercy Manning and Rafe Watson. I was pleased I even made it to Liskeard. Team ChainLUBE’s collective pride took a battering however, during a brief traffic light encounter with a fellow cyclist, who casually dropped into conversation that he had done Le Jog four times. In fact he had done it there in three days, and back also in three; a truly absurdly ridiculous statement. We later agreed that it was possible if he did 300miles/day. Unanimously we decided he was clearly a man of great integrity and more significantly you should have seen his legs. Ridiculous. Calves of truth.
After a quick pitstop and a hunt for flapjacks we skilfully negotiated our steeds between scally’s and mobility scooters and locked onto the A38. It’s funny how a road you think you know so well becomes a complete fuck on a bike. A route I fondly associate with a run to the sun…holidays, trips to the beach and parties…became a bleak relentless burning bastard of despair. That said we beasted through Bodmin at a rate of knots following onto the bowel inducing A30; a stretch of road that has taken many a cyclist’s life.
The hard shoulder’s white line became my God as we continued to the north coast, rush hour traffic backed up by the dozen thanks to our pothole slalom. 61 miles later we made it to the beautiful village of Rose, greeted by Larry the black lab who was expecting far more energy than we had left to give.
We were later collected by Rosamund Marcellus who whisked us to Trevose in the beamer. We ate in the flat overlooking the evening haze of Droskyn, Perranporth. Weary legs replenished with risotto seasoned by Rosamund Marcellus’ phallic mill. Finally we visited the local ale house. After deep discussions on eldercare, the monarchy and Chad Kroeger it was time for to say goodbye to today, and replenish for Le Jog’s closing chapter.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I feel a bit of a fraud swanning in on the champagne final days of the tour, but glad to share some of the experience with this great team. Cheers for getting me back on the bike boys!!!
Many thanks to Lady and Lord Grantham for putting us up this night. Pints (were) waiting for you at the tavern xxx