Everyone took off from the dock area of the city centre and hit up 5 libraries where they got books that they brought with them signed, Swansea is pretty hilly so there were no easy routes, at some point you had to go up some big hills before coming back down the other side. Riders split into two parts, those that wanted to get the hills out of the way first and those that wanted the 'time trial' section over and done with asap, those that took on the hills had their wills broken by the wind pretty bloody quickly, I was in that group and within minutes was thinking that we'd made a pretty bad decision, haha. An hour after taking off the racers started trickling in, everyone was knackered, in the video you'll see how many people were so tired that they couldn't get out of their peddles fast enough and just fall flat on their faces. I took first place (whoop!) followed by Aled and then Alex from Manchester (who had gone about 2 miles out of his way by accident and would have won by a mile).
When all 21 troopers were back and had been to Sainsbury's for pop and crisps (and where I got I.D'd buying a scratchcard, I'm 28!) we cracked on with the trackstand comp, with thighs not being quite as fresh as one would like it proved to be a rather wibbly-wobbly affair, more like a trackstand jelly impression comp really. We did 3 minutes standard, 2 minutes one-handed and then no-handed until we had a winner in Aled.
The longest skid comp closed the days events. I managed to dive off my bike like a pansy and bust a rib which is killing me right at this very second, the highlight for me was David Clapp from Bristol skidding out of his clips and with only 1 foot at times, mental. Owen managed to somehow stay out of the water no matter how much his bike wanted to fling him in there. Alex flew into first place.
Just as it started to piss down we headed off to a couple of pubs for drinks and the prize giving. Prizes from Bike Food, Cantgoslo, Charlie The Bikemonger, Cyclodelic, 14 Bike Co, Halo, Hell Yeah!, Howies, Hub Jub, Hunting Lodge, JOL Straps, Knog, Prendas, Re-Cycle, Skullcandy, Solder Gal, Tokyo Fixed Gear, Urban Hunter and Velo Solo were dished out to the relevant champions and as about half the riders had gone home by this point it turned out there were enough t-shirts in the prize kitty for everyone to have one to take home, as well as shit loads of stickers and some other bits and pieces on a first grab basis. I think everyone was chuffed that they got some goodies no matter where they placed, it really was the taking part that counted. Everyone had a great day and it was really nice for us locals to get to ride with so many people from out of town, we really appreciate your effort in coming over the bridge for the day and we all look forward to riding with you again soon...
4th Jason Beynon
6th Scott Pullins
8th Kerry Pillai
9th Owen Pillai
10th Steven Owen
11th Osian Meilyr
14th Dave Clapp
15th Chris Punk
16th Tim Moshi
18th Adam Haycroft
DFL Jason Veall
2nd Owen Pillai
Team Bristol arrive at the start
A last minute tyre change
Eyes on the prize...
Everyone gets their map
Busy at work finalising routes
Some final discussion
Scott WALKING up a hill, tut tut!
Owen taking 2nd place in the skid comp
One of David's no-toe clip skids, wild!
Bookworm Alleycat cha-mone!
Kerry, 1st and only girl
Half the gang stayed for beers
Video is also on YouTube.
A big shout out to Jono & Jack for shooting photos and John for the awesome video. Thanks to Ev, Sion, Amy and Owen for help with the organising. Cheers to Tom, Nigel, Jack and Amy for working the checkpoints and Ev for doing the start/end duty.
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