Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good.

Mid Sussex Hilly

Just got back from organising my first event, the Mid Sussex Hilly
108km. Having spent much of the week folding brevet cards, scouring
pound shops for jugs, cups etc and frequenting the tinned food aisle of
Lidl I awoke at 0630 for the big day. Fortunately I had help; which
started with a local rider who had done the ride a few times and
offered his services.

There was flood of riders (no on the line entries
fortunately) all patiently waiting as I attempted to fathom folding
tables and find the crockery in the hall’s kitchen and clear the broken
glass from an attempt to break in and steal said crockery. And then the
mobile phone started ringing, and carried on ringing for much of the
day. I knew I had late starters as I went out at 0830 to see the main
field off (having warned them not to follow the signs left by the last
CTC ride). I finally saw the late starters off and headed for the first
control at 20km; I took a wrong turning and ended up driving the route
in reverse; this was good move as I met most of the field in the road
and desperately handed them their stickers; in the end my helper
grabbed a roll of stickers and walked while I drove up to the real
control (any attempt to match rider to start sheet having been
abandoned by now).

I met Simon who had suffered a bad fall and had his
arm covered in blue paper roll supplied by an HGV driver. With the back
marker through we carried on reversing the route and happy we had got
everyone (and having passed the control finish time) I went up to the
big hill to take photos. Having ridden the route a week earlier this
was nice, and I didn’t feel envious at all seeing them all struggle up
il Mostro. I left all the spare bananas and biscuits in the car at the
top; they had all gone when I got back to it (secret food controls, a
good way of keeping riders on route!)
Back at the hall my helpers had arrived and turned into a filled roll
factory as the first rider rolled in at 4h 2m; along with his mates who
were not on the ride but following him; we sold them some food and
drinks anyway.

The rest of the field trickled and occasionally flooded
in, most riders were most concerned about making sure that their time
was correctly recorded. A local research student had turned up and was
busy taking photos (no idea what the purpose was but he got plenty of
subjects so went away happy). It was about this point that I realised I
had eaten and drunk nothing since about 8 hrs previously. Finally the
trickle died down to the point that I could send my helpers away (with
a goodie bag of tinned soup and rolls) and start to clear up the hall.
Eventually the last two riders turned up just as it got very dark and
relieved me of my last three ham rolls (could not be bothered to take
any moeny off them ) and I finished the tidying up.

59 satisfied customers, one satisfied organiser.
The two things that made it all the most worthwile :
1. The thanks I got from every single rider
2. The beams of satisfaction from the first time audaxers and also one
of the riders who had today completed a Brevet 500; I even sold her my
own (new) Bronze Grimpeur badge so she could take it away with her.

(next year’s event is Saturday 14.10.06, 110km with 0.5 AAA points over some of the quietest and hilliest lanes in Mid Sussex)


click here for photo link

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