With the main event only being a couple of weeks away team Cotic (Pierre and I) decided to do a 130 mile training ride and where better to head than Swanage. With Pierre’s yellow Escapade and my Roadrat loaded up with a bit of luggage we left Berkhamsted train station at 6am to face the challenge ahead. With the ride starting on the edge of the Chilterns we were relying on our wheetabix to kick in early.
With Pierre’s Escapade being fitted with a (very upright) drop bar enabled him to hoon along and smash the hills with me in a bit more of a Miss Daisy riding position soaked up the atmosphere of the day. The gearing set at 50:19 we were cruising along and it wasn’t long before we crossed the Thames between the villages of Whitchurch and Pangbourne – time for a photo me thinks…..
With the route planned on Strava we took the most popular cycle route and in turn were generally riding down leafy quiet roads through “chocolate box” villages, thatched roofs and locally sourced (very eco back then) stone walls.
Taking 10 minutes out of our day we stopped at a wee bridge on the River Test to spot some brown trout hugging the river bed. Just about to set off we got chatting with another local cyclist who rode with us into Stockbridge. Around 80 miles in and we were both appreciating the benefits of the natural flex both Cotic steel frame provides.
Well over half way now we crossed the cattle grids into the New Forest and met a different kind of traffic. Fortunately we were able to filter the obstacles and be on our way with ease.
With the seaside in our sights we made our way to Boscombe and had a nice cruise along a seafront with beach huts which must have been painted using the Cotic colour chart. With the heat of the day beginning to fade the the prom was bustling with life from a good old fashioned day at the beach.
Heading through the razzmatazz of Bournemouth and along Sandbanks we caught the chain ferry across to Purbeck Island. With only one last climb between us, a beer on the campsite to go, the sun was low but the mood was high as we headed up past Studland and turned down to Swanage.
Having completed 130 miles in one gear it just goes to show that when everything is right it doesn’t need to be complicated. For an adventure all you need is a Cotic – and an alarm clock set really early…………