Sampling whisky for breakfast and hitting Edinburgh at day’s first light

Micky Turner and Paul Gibbons by Chris Martin
Micky Turner and Paul Gibbons by Chris Martin
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At 11.30pm on Wednesday evening, Micky Turner and Paul Gibbons, members of Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club, clocked in at Loughton on the northern outskirts of London to complete the gruelling London-Edinburgh-London Audax event.

he pair completed their rides within four days, well inside the permitted cut-off limit and finished in the top 80 out 800 finishers.

Micky reported it to be one of the most challenging but enjoyable events he has ever ridden, though he found regulating his food intake and the broken sleep patterns difficult factors to contend with. Highlights of the ride included the spectacular ride at first light entering Edinburgh and sampling whisky for breakfast to celebrate their arrival at the midpoint of the ride.

The return leg was a relentless push, with the toughest section not on the hilly stretches in Cumbria one might imagine, but on the pan flat stretches of the Fens, where the exposed landscape subjected the pair to a relentless headwind.

One of the features of the event is the cosmopolitan nature of the riders.

The pair met cyclists from across the globe, including an Italian who had ridden from Italy to the start.

The third member of the team, Chris Martin, was well ahead of schedule – and was on the return leg from Edinburgh when he was plagued with back problems, which forced a bitterly disappointed Chris to retire.

Chris had managed to complete more than 600 miles in two and a half days, a splendid achievement in itself.

After collecting their medals, Paul and Micky cycled back to Sussex having clocked up over a thousand miles on their truly epic adventure.

At the weekend, Johan Stegers made a welcome return to racing after a long lay-off and posted a creditable time of 24.39 in the Kent VTTA event held near Tenterden.

The following day, three Wanderers competed in the Sussex CA 50-mile time trial, held on a tough sporting course featuring some challenging climbs as it traverses through Henfield through to Shoreham to end at Partridge Green. Conditions were generally good on the day, although a nagging headwind made the ride up to Findon somewhat of a grovel.

Nevertheless, riders reaped rewards for their efforts with a following tail wind powering the riders home in the last five miles of a tough event.

Lewes managed to grab the second team prize thanks to Sam Ramsey (2.06.19), your correspondent (2.12.24) and Steve Gaston (who unluckily punctured) who recorded a time of 2.29.16.

The winner of the event was Chris McNamara of Pedal Heaven who posted a very rapid time of 1.49.28.

More details of this ride and other club activities can be found at the club website, www.leweswanderers.co.uk

Above: Micky Turner and Paul Gibbons at one of the feed stops on the London-Edinburgh-London event. Picture taken by Chris Martin.

REPORT BY ALAN LLOYD