The morning of the 21st of May 2017 started off quietly enough (video).
Looking across the stunning vista from the Park Walk vantage point you could see the clouds slowly and silently rolling across distant hills, while birds gave forth their wondrous calls.
It was a breezy spring day, with the sun occasionally breaking through the clouds, making a bright but perfect day for a bicycle ride.
Welcome to the 2017 Shaftesbury Rotary Club Cycle Race.
Well, it’s actually a bit more than a just cycle race, it’s more of a family adventure with cyclists across the generations and of all abilities taking part.
You have a choice of three distances to test your mettle. First there’s the fifteen mile bottom burner, then the 25 mile thigh trembler or, not for the faint hearted, the ultimate fifty mile lung buster!
The first set of cyclists would set off at eight thirty, with I believe about two hundred riders to follow in waves over the next couple of hours, those covering the shortest distances would go last – hopefully to get everyone across the finish line in some semblance of order between midday and one o’clock.
They’re off, ………… or they would be if the hooter had woken up.
Let’s hope our photographer survives the day!
Ah a new hooter
Now it’s off to Gold Hill to greet the riders back after their arduous morning’s pedalling. Me? I’ve just had another cuppa.
And first across the line is number 3204 Paul Waite! He managed to complete the course in a little over two and a half hours, averaging in the region of an impressive twenty miles an hour.
The Gold Hill finish line proved to be a difficult target to achieve, with some electing to dismount and finish on foot. Several pushed the envelope too far, came to a halt and slowly keeled over unable to unclip from their pedals in a timely fashion.
The winner on the day was Paul Waite, with Harry Charles in second place and Shaun Thomas in third.
The Shaftesbury Rotary Club should be congratulated for putting on such a wonderful event. And kudos to all the riders for participating, however long it took them to complete the course. A great result all round!
The big question is, are you up for it next year?