The story of the restoration of a 1950s classic bicycle for a Land's End – John O'Groats charity ride in aid of Alzheimer's Society
Went to the Eroica Britannia vintage bike festival. A great occasion, with hundreds of wonderful old bikes on view and some bizarre appearances. My favourite – a Bianchi owner with a splendid moustache dyed Bianchi blue.
There were three ride options: 30, 55 and 100 miles. This is part of my training for LEJOG and it’s the early stages, so I’m afraid I did the 55-miler – not having the courage to do my first ever century ride over the fierce Derbyshire hills.
The 55 miles were quite demanding but the bike and I did OK. I was quietly pleased when a marshall watched us go past and I heard him say “Oh look, an Ellis-Briggs!” and again, passing a couple of blokes pushing their smart bikes up the final climb from Chatsworth, one saying to the other “I can’t do it, my legs have gone”. I hope I looked more serene than I felt as I cycled past them.
The Derbyshire countryside is very beautiful and absolutely worth the effort…
The foodstops at Hartington, Cromford High Peak Junction were lavish and very welcome.
And, best of all, Chatsworth House was lovely in the sunshine…
A brilliant day, enjoyed by over 3,000 riders, and only marred by a couple of nasty-looking falls on the difficult terrain. Fortunately, I managed to stay on board for the whole course.