Daren W
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The man who coined #doingamason gives his account of the London Bikeathon 100

Daren W
Posted by
02 Sep 2014

Another 'unchartered territory' ride for James Mason


I woke up at a time that is soooo very wrong and should only be seen by people going on holiday. I drove to Dave Hatch and we loaded his car up with our bikes, to say we were both nervous is and understatement as it was our first 100 plus mile bike ride. We then went onto to collect Michael,(Dave's nephew: a very nice and very fast chap).

Once we were at the start and met with the whole team and plus another new recruit my mate Tom whom could end up being the team medic. Tom also had not ridden over 50 miles so this all added up a very nervous but excited group all leaning on the experienced shoulders of James Burns, Lee Bedingfield and Keiran Adkins.
Once I had taken a couple of Masons we were set to roll on this epic adventure.  We got to the first challenge of Box Hill: there was a slow gradient at first which was weird as it seemed I was riding through Tar or had a pucture as I was continually pushing on the pedals. Then I hit Box Hill proper concentrating on my breathing as the benchmark had told me weeks before and to my surprise i started overtaking people on the hill, i caught up with Daren and asked him how much further and to my delight he said"only 3 bends in total" Wohoooo we had done two of them already. We reached the top and im glad to say i was 205th out of all the riders and Box Hill was done.
After I had pushed some of my drugs (just painkillers honestly) and taken some myself to keep my knee under control we were off for a group photo.
Most of the next 30 miles we tried to keep as a team practicing our drafting methods and I can proudly say i drafted the person in front of me fairly well (Lee would be so proud). We came to a section of the course that was really tough to ride due to the surface so we had some enforced drafting as leaving the good surface would of meant a puncture or a fall. At times it felt like I was riding along a plank no wider than 12 inches. Once we passed the plank section I left the group as my knee started to heat up I just kept on with a good pace until the next stop hoping for burgers and drugs. Such a shame as no burgers but I had the drugs which calmed the knee down mentally if not physically.
We all met up and exchanged some experiences and to my joy Tom gave out some more beneficial drugs to help boost our hearts apparently. We were all taking whatever we could get at this point and looking forward to the final two hills - get them done and its down hill from there !
Off we pushed and I found myself with Lee the drafting king at the front we were taking turns in going as we were both secretly suffering and needed to mentally get over these hills as soon as possible. My god the third hill was harsh we came down a lovely section only to have a tight right hander that went up. I was lucky as i had taken a lot of speed from it and got quite a way up but then another corner and another incline made me think its time to rest on this one.
Rested we went again and found a petrol station where we raided the not very bright shop assistant of all her pork pies and sausage rolls. We were all asked any fuel with that ???? lol
On from there we hit the steepest hill I have ever tried to ride up, "whoever put that in the course was a complete arse" was one of the most pleasant sentences I'd heard from a fellow rider whilst recovering half way up.
Off we go again its all down hill now until Dave got a puncture and then as we pulled out of repairing his I had my first ever puncture straight away. As Victor Meldrew says "I dont Believe it!!" Luckily we have our non-complaining mechanic Lee. He really enjoyed fixing my tyre I could tell as it he was swearing blind about the amount of flint that was in my tyre i though I'd broken a club record. :) Once repaired off we go again like a yellow road runner gaining speed and raring to get home to our loved ones. The only noise was Bellers complaining that he has never been so tired but with more f words in. ( I think he is related to Gordon Ramsay)
We made it back safe and sound minus a wallet but all extremely glad to be at the finish. Not the fastest but for me it was about completing a milestone with some great friends.

James 'selfie' Mason

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