Le Sportif 2011

We must ride

Hilly - Gospel Pass

By way of celebration of the launch of Le Sportif.cc the Welsh summer was faced down with a heady combination of enthusiasm, sartorial elegance and resilience. The group (by and large) embraced a fraternal mood and remained ‘compacto’ for the majority of the ride. The only exception was the single speed cross bike, powered by ex pro rider Matt Carr, who remained a single speed happy rider, but with too much of a gearing handicap over the flatter early sections of the route.

LS00 was the route chosen and was as stunning and challenging as could have been hoped for. The 161km were completed in just under 6 hours, taking in two major climbs over the Black Mountains.

The threat of rain was enough to dent the enthusiasm of a number of riders who sadly proved their true mettle with their failure to comply with Rule 9. The reality of the rain was as reliable as should be expected, proving to be refreshing bursts timed to coincide with the most trying parts of the climbs. But no progress can be made in any form of transportation without fuel. The less well motivated traveller could be sidetracked at many points, but the route recommendations were followed to the letter and the two stops were Hay on Wye and Oriental Splendour (as splendid as ever). The km/litre of coffee, tea and coke was surprisingly efficient, supplemented as it was by isotonic power.

A final splash on the bridge was refreshing, but the finish was dry. The deserving finishers were rewarded with edible medals and sweat bands to mop tired brows.