Birmingham and Midlands 2019 Velo Ride
£640 + GIFT AID RAISED FOR FESTIVAL 2022
Lodge of Dewi Sant No.9135
Festival Steward, Bro. Alan Dennett completed his second Velo ride on 12th June.
"Riding the Birmingham & Midlands Velo in 2019 posed a number of challenges. The last Velo in 2017 was in September and offered the spring and summer seasons to get fit and ready for the challenge. This years Velo held in May meant that Sundays throughout the winter saw us ‘rugged’ up and getting the miles in in all weather conditions. No chance of evening training rides in June, July and August either to further tone the muscles and familiarise the nether regions to pain and more pain.
"An early start on Sunday 12th June found 17,000 of us winding our way from the start line in Birmingham City Centre through the silent streets of East Birmingham and into the winding lanes of Warwickshire and the Atherstone ‘Alps’. On our way into Coventry City Centre we discovered that there had been an accident on the descent of one of the Warwickshire hills. We later learned that the cyclist had died, which dampened our enthusiasm somewhat, particularly at the 50-60 mile mark where energy levels are low at this distance and the brain is fighting the body to continue.
"As we approached the 65 mile pit stop at Packwood House, some of us decided to reject the queues for energy gels and other high sugar food in favour of a rather civilized lunch in the National Trust Café, Personal Best (PB) times forgotten. Strangely only around 20 of us partook of this delight whilst 16,000 plus cyclists stood waiting patiently for sustenance and the portaloos.
"With bodies and minds refreshed we embarked on the final 35 miles, including a few stiff climbs, to swoop into Birmingham City Centre to be welcomed in Edgbaston, by the Bangra Drums which, like last time, told us the end of the ride was near. No Flam’ Rouge (Red Kite) marker at 1 mile from the finish this year but our legs knew we were close as we sped through the finish gate in Digbeth Birmingham to get a bottled Weetabix? and a Finisher’s Medal. A beer and a pizza in a nearby pub were most welcome. Another Velo done, another 100 plus miles under our belt and (sponsors willing) money in the bank for the MCF and good causes. Ride another one?…..of course!!
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