Thursday, 3 June 2010

Why, Wheres and Whithers of Wessex

The sun has come out in London, which at least has given a slight shine to the detour Dr Matt was forced to take this evening, sent out as he was on a fool's errand to meet an errant vicar in the National Liberal Club. Looking the scruff that he is, and passing as a polytechnic sociology lecturer at best (surely, the non-plus-ultra of liberalism?) he was required to sit downstairs, check his collapsed Brompton and bag, and await the revd. who had checked in. Later, it transpired that the cleric had just sneaked in, not being a member of this silly establishment.

Apart from sneaking around, trying to look in on the outside bar (a mission that was achieved, but must have been during the priest's toilet stop), it gave Dr Matt time to reflect on the recent pilgrimage to his homeland.

Firstly, the where? Jon seemed to suggest that Wessex=Somerset, an impression largely given by day one of the expedition. However, the 106 damp and hilly miles included a substantial expedition into the environs of Wiltshire and even what may have been termed Avon, once upon a time. It may be North Somerset now. Who knows? And Day 2 meant south to Dorset.

Now the why? Not just because it is there, but a good prompt for some early training, and three centuries in a row is a nice challenge to have in one's sights.

And whither? On reflection, Wessex's typical attractions of bucolic idyll, mystical monuments and cream teas clash with cycling's self-image as a lean sport of suffering and beauty. The aesthetic of the veloist clashes with cows. Finally, the shine may have been taken off by, shall we say, l'incident des clefs. Cycling may be about rediscovery of youthful freedoms, but some of one's teenage years deserve to be forgotten.

Nonetheless, enormous respect to my fellow Wessexer for taking on a formidable challenge, and rising to douchebag drivers, distance and mechanicals with aplomb. Jon for his work as directeur sportif, and Dan and Fi for housebreaking, taxi, and cheering skills.

Finally, we can all be glad that Rue McClanahan held on for as long as she did.

Trois Vs!


  1. The sneaky vicar strikes again!

  2. Never trust a man of the cloth!

  3. p.s., enjoyed the S.D. account

  4. Oh, Rapha Condor women's riders have also posted an account:

  5. That Condor update should've moved to the top of our blogroll. Hmmm. The interwebs is broken, but I'm sure we have a multitool to fix it.

    Trois V!