“Cycling is the greatest sport in the world – it’s the human experience. The things that those guys go through are so much harder and so much more base and visceral than stadium sports where it’s all nonsense. That’s playing a game, while cycling is an epic human experience laid out in front of you…”
When Simon Mottram (founder of cycling brand Rapha) spoke these words I am pretty sure he was thinking about the Tour de Creston – Creston’s annual 3 day bike ride. Some of the Marketing Sciences team joined in this year’s ride that took us from Bristol to the Isle of Wight and back over onto the mainland again. Day 1 began in the early hours of Saturday morning as the rain lightly fell over Bristol as we gathered outside the EMO/TRA offices, clad in lycra, bikes prepped and ready to go. Accompanied by an awesome support team, we wound our way from Bristol to the edge of the New Forest – for our lunch stop (just like the pros!). Following lunch, we rode through the New Forest, encountering our first timed ‘Strava’ segment of the journey – being a local to the forest, I was saving myself for the segment. However, a few miles to go saw the rest of our group blast past me…turned out I wasn’t so local and had missed the segment!
At the ferry, our tired looking group were met with the upbeat and friendly faces of those who had taken a slightly different (and seemingly less strenuous) route through the forest. We boarded the ferry and finished the last few miles to Totland where we were met with food and, after a slight (90 minute) detour, refreshment (turns out there are no pubs in Freshwater Bay in case you were wondering).
The leisurely pace at which we started our adventure on day 1 was all but forgotten on day 2 – tired legs saw way to a fast start that took us around the bottom of the Isle of Wight and up towards Ryde. 20 or so miles in saw the Strava segment of the day, the 3km climb out of Ventnor averaging 4% with a mean 17% gradient at the beginning. The battle at the front was relentless but saw some epic performances! After the 35 or so miles to Ryde, I left the group to cycle back over to Yarmouth and then home with some of the rest of our group departing in Portsmouth. However, hats off to those from the other Creston companies who continued up to Billinghurst and then battled into London for day 3.
Tour de Creston 2014 was a blast and we are already looking forward to (and training for) 2015.
And now for an official statement from Anna Herron, a member of the ‘Short-cut Squad’.
The Marketing Sciences Short-cut Squad took a rather different approach, covering shorter distances at a slower pace, allowing us to enjoy the beautiful English countryside. In the New Forest, we cruised down the Ornamental drive, stopping to watch feeding deer and admire vintage motor cars. Our cycling fuel was also slightly unorthodox – rather than isotonic drinks and gels, we enjoyed fish & chips and refreshing ice-creams!
So, who had the most fun? We’ll let you decide that for yourself.