Introductions (Part II)

The other half of the Four Mikes Quartet is Mike Burton and Fr Michael Spain, who will join Mike Carney and Mick Claridge on Saturday 18 May in Rheinmunster, Germany. After yesterday’s account of disciplined drills and eerie apparitions, the Editor was hoping that a new batch of Mikes might report a more indolent (and less alarming) training regime. However, Mike Burton quickly dismissed any [Editorial] notions of slothful, easy riding: “Fr Michael and I have been doing two or more rides each week, often a 36-mile loop to Windsor and back after the Sunday 5.30 mass, plus whatever else we can fit in. This past week, I had a 15-mile, off-road night ride around Black Park, a 68-mile off-road ride from Hampton to Brighton, a 70-mile loop round the Chilterns, and we have one last group ride planned for Windsor tomorrow. In addition, Fr Michael has been on a supervised weight loss programme since February.”

[Note: Should LASR readers feel both exhausted and peckish after reading the above, don’t worry, it is perfectly normal.]

It is not just the riders who have to get fit for a tour – bikes get a work-out too. Mike Burton recently took his new gravel bike on a 36-mile ‘rough spin’ through woods to identify any loose parts and make sure the bike knows who’s the boss. As a result, Mike has upgraded to stronger tyres and bought new wheel & steering bearings. Plus the bike no longer baulks at tree roots.

Tomorrow’s blog will look at the kit required for a big tour – clothing, maps, technology, and the Three S’s (suncream, saddles, and Sudocrem). Stay tuned….

The Tour
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