The time has come, after much training, to see how well we are doing, which means miles and hours in the saddle. So on a glorious spring day yours truly and a non Steve who has been bitten by the cycle bug set off on a mini adventure
along the open road which was relatively traffic free in search of a bag of chips at the seaside 60 miles away.
Mile 30 saw non Steve with a puncture and so demonstrated the extraordinary stretchiness of Lycra.
Yours truly who up until this point had been silently struggling to keep up and plotting all sorts of revenge or ditching cycling for a more genteel hobby like sofa surfing found that his back brake was half on which explained the tardy hill sections and less than speedy progress overall.
Four hours from the start we were at sea level
posing for tourists and queueing for chips.
Unlike at home where a pack of dogs watches every mouthful, here there were rats with wings, or seagulls as they are more commonly known.
One thanked non Steve for his generosity by coating him with a brown and white secretion, could have been worse, could have been me!
Miles 60 to 70 were what's known in cycling parlance as an utter bastard and involved a huge climb, which we managed, but only just, and the next 20 miles were similarly challenging.
At mile 95 we stopped at the most unfriendly garage in the world and purchased the most revolting sandwich in the history of sandwich. Non Steve settled for a magnum and a sit down.
Mile 108 our bikes died, as did we
but we persevered
and soon at mile 120 we were happy to finish.
Another mini adventure over. 8 hours 23 minutes. Nobody mention that in 8 weeks time I have to do this 3 days running and 180 miles a day. And climb a mountain every day. Don't mention it. Please.