Wiggle epic to be precise. On Sunday 10th April the Fat but Fit on Wheels team completed the Wiggle New Forest 130k Epic Sportive challenge! <chest swells with pride!>
Our day began with excited whatsapp group banter. Our team leader, Vagner, decided to post some wise and thought provoking words of encouragement ….
‘No panini no gain!’
Bwahahahahah …. well that backfired! Tim placed his order for ‘cheese and ham’ and the rest of us rolled around laughing!
3hrs later and we arrived at Somerley Park. Final tweeks were made to the bikes with Michael blowing my tyres up to 80 psi? He then had his bananas whislt Vagner got his out and put his new shorts on. As a finishing touch, my new pink bottle holders with pink screws (which got an eeeewwww from Gabriel incidentally) were fitted …. and we were off.
Vagner and I set off at a good steady pace and quickly made friends … Actually … I’m not quite sure if that’s exactly the right way of putting it. Vagner may indeed have made friends but I had acquired a menacing dark shadow, that hovered over my right shoulder waiting for me to slip a gear or fail on a hill! (Jk 3270 – please drop us a line if you see this and don’t worry about buying photos … you’re in all of mine!)
Vagner thinks 3270 had just taken a liking to my ass … Speaking of which, by now you all know that apart from a few solitary moments of reprieve, my cycling so far has consisted of looking at Vagners behind.
Well today had taken a spectacular turn for the worse! Vagner, wanting to look his best, had bought some new red cycle shorts. And don’t get me wrong … He looked amazing (from the front!). But for some reason, known only to the gods, he chose today of all days to wear cycle leggings underneath the shorts rather than his normal bib leggings.
Now, had only one of the following occurances happened in isolation the situation would have been redeemable but I’m afraid this was not the to be … For not only were Vagners new red shorts totally see through, his leggings had also fallen down quite considerably … leaving me faced with his butt crack for 84 god damned miles!
All I can say is thank heavens for small mercy’s and when I say small I mean about 2 inches square … The white garment label was flipped up offering him the merest modicum of decency!
The event was called a Wiggle Sportive through the New Forest with enticing images of people casually cycling past the wild ponies, through quaint English villages and along gently undulating forest roads. Nowhere did it mention gale force winds, mega inclines and wide open and exposed heathland. As Vagner and I battled on we both worried about Tim. This wasn’t fun … And for Tim it must have been hell on earth. In all seriousness and without the drama, we were doing 7mph on the flat against a head on 30mph wind!
As usual, Tim always suprises us all. He gritted his teeth and finished off the unforgiving hills with his indomitable determination.
That is until his gears decided to pack in! As Vagner and I approached the first feed station at 40 miles we received an ‘Oh dear’ text followed some 20mins later by a picture of Tim’s bike raised up! It turns out that for the last 37 miles, Tim’s gears would only change from small to large sprocket manually!
At this point we have to say a massive thank you to the roaming mechanics and medics! They stopped to offer help, advice, a joke or encouraging word. We love you ‘thebikefixer‘! But shame on you for stealing all the black jelly beans!
Tim and Michael continued on at a steady pace. Michael seems to have gone unmentioned in most of this blog which is unfair since he was an absolute star by all accounts, coaching and encouraging Tim the whole way around. I don’t think any of us could have done without him that day and he looked fab!
Now after all my moaning, you’d think all we did was climb hills … Well with every up there’s a down … And my life did we fly on the downs. So much so that Vagner splatted a couple of mosquitos on the front of his number … And also on his teeth so he tells me! Why he had his mouth open I’ll never know!
The second feed station was located at about the sixty mile mark. Vagner and I thought we were making good time having arrived there at about 16.00. The team there were fab helping me fill my pockets with jelly beans … But here’s a tip for future … always read the labels on the yellow water containers in the power bar station. One contains power water and the other just ordinary water so no need to add the additional eloctro tabs! No wonder we were cycling crazy eyed and at high speed!
The last few hills for Vagner and I were a killer. With every hill we’d ask each other ‘how’s the legs’ and the response was always the same ‘no juice’ but somehow we kept on going.
Absolutely buzzing with legs still jumping in a mixture of pain, excitement and sugar overload, we ordered a celebratory coffee! We sat, chattering about the day and wondering where the other two were as Vagner continued to pick flies from his teeth.
Then we got a text from Michael saying they were lost. I have to say the event was so well organised with clear signs and marshals at every junction that there was no way they could be lost! Then, with dismay, I saw the wiggle van stop next to one of the final markers and pull it out the ground!
My heart sank … ‘they’ve taken all the signs away and the guys are lost’ I screamed at Vagner as I ran towards the support crew at the finish line!
Panicking, I said to the ladies, there are two guys still out on the course and they are my guys! ‘That’s right’ she said … ‘There are two still left out there …. But it’s ok … The support crew are following them in. They are about 8 mins away’!
Also, the photographers from Sportive Photos were just fantastic! They got great shots of everyone and made us look so professional … Although I think they also mistook 3270 for my shadow! 🙂
By the way … For those of you who may have been wondering about the Vagners banana comment earlier … turns out they were still where he left them at the start of the day … On top of his car! Lol
A big fat beaming ‘Thank you’!
A big fat beaming thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We are blown away by the extreme kindness, support and generosity!