Gateway Cycling » Road » Burnham and Baddow Cyclosportive

Burnham and Baddow Cyclosportive

The Cold Train.

A bitter westerly wind greeted competitors for the Burnham and Baddow Cyclosportive’, organised by Southend Wheelers.

Starting at East Hanningfield, 237 riders set out from the Village Hall at 9am over staggered start times, to complete either the 40k or more gruelling – 100k course.

For the uninitiated this ‘sportive’ is the equivalent of running a marathon but riding road bikes instead, so it’s not for the unfit or summer rider.

Thurrock’s cyclists were well represented with Gateway Cycling fielding a total of fifteen entries

Winding through hill and hedgerow and pretty villages; Bicknacre, Cocks Clarke and Cold Norton to name but a few – across blasted field and heath and flood. The Gateway regular road riders stuck together in a ‘cold blue train’, working for one another, each taking their turn up front, battling the elements. A gutsy example of club riding at its best – teamwork and togetherness.

Just about everyone completed the course as did all the Gateway Cycling entries. There were no winners or losers here – the reward for crossing the line was a hot tea and lots of cake – and a sense of achievement at finishing a testing course in such wintry weather.

Finally, these events don’t organise themselves so a really Big Thank You to all the folk at Southend Wheelers, especially Mike O’Kill and the ‘tea and cake team’ for pulling together a successful and very enjoyable event.

Burnham and Baddow 2013

Gateway Riders at Burnham and Baddow Cyclosportive 2013

A personal view of the event from Tim Pittick:

We had our own train of four – Frances H, Bob D, a friend Mark and myself.  It was more a local stopping train than an express but we had an absolutely great time.

We only did the 40k although Frances felt we could have (should have?) tackled the 100k.

OK Frances and you can go on the front.

It was great to see so many Gateway riders and the camaraderie was evident throughout the ride.

I had a problem with the front mech on my hybrid and couldn’t get down into the smallest ring on the triple and despite a stop and a fiddle the problem wouldn’t go away.  There – that’s established my excuse for being so slow up the hills.

The return leg into the wind was quite tough but for me the high spot of the ride was the last 8k or so. Mark and Bob D were about 200 metres ahead of me with Frances riding behind me and try as I might I just couldn’t close the gap. Then another rider, no idea who he was, came past and I was able to get on his wheel. He dragged us up to the leading pair and then the five of us had a great ride to the finish with Mark and the stranger taking turns. I did thank him for the tow at the finish!

We did the ride in a riding time, according to my computer, of 30 seconds over 2 hours and had a nice cuppa and a chat at the finish.

A great start to the year and roll on some more rides hopefully in less windy conditions.


Jon Lane

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