www.dadswell.co.uk  Mostly cycling records, mostly on three wheels

Onward marches the Tandem Tricycle                        Oct 2003       Back to rides-2003-2004

Today was another outing for the long-barrow, with Birmingham to London being the chosen route.  Marina and I were in theory only obliged to beat a standard of 5h 50m for the 112 miles, but we had scheduled for 5h as it seemed more realistic.

(just after starting, photo by Eric Clifford)

We had a reasonable NW wind to help us, and this was undoubtedly part of the reason for our first 25 miles taking just 30 seconds over an hour - despite all the hassle around escaping from Birmingham and negotiating the Coventry bypass.

We reached Towcester just after the 50 mile point, in 2h 4m, and used the Milton Keynes bypass to good effect to clock 3h 3m for 75 miles.   At this point, it seemed possible that we might beat 4h 45m for the trip.  However, we then began to slow up a bit and despite reasonable experiences in Dunstable and St Albans, we eventually passed the 100 mile point in 4h 12m.  So, we weren't going to beat 4h 50m now.

Despite a knot of traffic at Barnet, we then had a good run as far as Archway, but had still lost a couple more minutes to schedule.    Eventually we arrived within a mile of the finish.   We rode around Smithfield market, through the "cycles only" pinch-point, and then had just two more left turns remaining.

As we turned into Newgate Street, we were presented with the sight of a giant crane and a blocked road.  Fortunately, things weren't completely impassable, and we managed to find a way through.  It seems likely that the workers were so surprised at seeing us that they just gawped as we rode past!

We crossed the line after 4h 57m 20s, relieved that we hadn't been thwarted at the last moment.

As luck would have it, there was a cafe nearby, and so while we waited for the following car to emerge from the traffic, we were able to relax in civilised surroundings as the passers-by stared at our magnificent steed.

This ride will (subject to ratification) be record number 8 for our partnership.

Ralph.   4 Oct 2003

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