Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Obree way

Not exactly a sportive geometry
A few weeks back, cyclesguff mentioned the kind invite to take part in the Graeme Obree Sportive. The invite came from none other than the man himself. The reason for the invite was down to the this guffer's involvement with 'the beastie'. Graham has been working with staff and students of Product Design Engineering (PDE) programme at the Glasgow School of Art and University of Glasgow. There is an additional and historical element to this collaboration. Graeme started studying PDE, in his own words 'for a matter of weeks'. Thankfully, the result of that early departure from his studies has resulted in one of the most inspiring and challenging stories. 

Whether you ride a bike or not, working with Graeme is an experience! The energy gained from his work ethic and approach is addictive. The next few weeks will see even more development and tweaking as the time to roll out 'the beastie' for the record attempt approaches. The excellent site humans invent has more details of development and the Obree way, so please point the cursor in that direction for more info.
Nick O Balloch
A post about the Graeme Obree sportive is well overdue.....the event takes place late July! Four guffers made the journey down to Ayrshire. The chat in the car centred around lack of time on the bike and what to wear. In other words, we where anxious. And as it turned out, the good old inclement Scottish weather decided to come along and keep us company on the ride. Charlie Milarvie (Maximise Sport and Graeme's agent) had mentioned that the 68.5mile route would feel more like 100. The 'heavy' undulating roads (over 1,100metres of climbing) and Nick O The Balloch climb around the 40 mile mark being the main test. The guffers only managed 2 miles before the first test. A mangled rear mech, and no means of repair forced Pete to abandon. We left with the first bunch and just had to watch them disappear as a dejected Pete walked like a duck back to the event start at Auchincruive. The remaining three tried to keep together, but a fluctuating pace saw a few smaller groups form from the second wave to depart. The guffers had the chance to regroup after the magic descent to Straiton Thankfully, the descent was the only major section of dry road we experienced.  After a short stop for water and grub the heavens opened and it was truly biblical. The last few miles saw the sun break through and warm our damp bodies as we confronted the last few ramps on the run back to the start.

The combination of quiet roads taking in some stunning views of the moorlands high above Ayrshire, fantastic marshaling, support of South Ayrshire Council and police stopping traffic at junctions created an atmosphere not too disimilar to a closed road event. The success of the event is a credit to the organisers and the following that Graeme has. It's also generating funds for the fantastic charity Combat Stress. The other draw was the number of riders. Smaller sizes (in my experience) results in groups willing to work and make the most of the day, this is something that mass start events, such as the Etapé Caledonia struggles with.

If you have ever considered riding the roads that Graeme trains on, stop considering and sign up for 2013.

Stay upright 

1 comment:

  1. A fine day, still grinding those pedals right enough.
    And maybe should mention that it's the big fellas birthday today 11 September. Many happy returns.