We missed a year – with a small group riding John O’Groats to Landsend (900 miles in 9 days,) – which may explain the ambitions for the 2012 edition of ‘300 in 3 days’ (maybe it was more like 330 in 3 days!).
We would be riding from London to Cologne, through 5 countries in 3 days, something that our Australian contingent found hard to comprehend. The number of riders had grown to near 30 and after a routine ride from Greenwich to London what became known as ‘2nd day syndrome’ started to hit the riders.
After a though provoking visit to the British graveyard at Ypres we travelled through Belgium, over cobbles, through unpaved forest tracks (even our Garmins couldn’t save us here), tramlines and thunderstorms in Brussels and later than scheduled arrival to the hotel (a hotel in a football stadium) to consume the last burgers and steaks the chef had held back. Well nearly all of us – some intrepid riders had taken on a 30 mile detour in the the dark, involving crossing a fjord and dead batteries in the normally reliable garmins. See what I mean ‘2nd day syndrome’?
The 3rd and final day was the final test as we made it to Germany (of course we had to detour via the largest open mine on Germany…) but with a fast run in to Cologne lead by a local German guide who had joined us for the last day we made it. This time the hotel had a spa and we arrived in time to enjoy it before heading out for the now traditional end of ride big celebrations in a traditional German beer cellar..