Earlier this year I published a list of my planned rides for the season. I've now done a good number of them and just completed my 2013 Super Randonneur series (4 rides of 200, 300, 400 and 600kms). It was without doubt the toughest series I have ever done, all being in Wessex which turns out to be rather hilly.
The Dorset Coast 200 and Hard Boiled 300 were done on the same weekend in reverse order; the 300 starting from Poole at 2am on 6 April from Poole where the mercury had fallen to -5C. Our water bottles froze solid over the first stage up towards Salisbury Plain. After that the sun came out and things warmed up to marginally above zero for most of the day. Fellow rider Marcus wrote a good account of these rides.
The Porkers "pig of a ride" 400 was held on 5/6 May. Lots more climbing and lots of lovely Wessex lanes. Delightful controls. See Chillmoister's photos here
The grande finale was the Brimstone 600, with 7,700m of climbing, over the weekend of 8/9 June. Fine weather again, and more fine views from all of the highest roads in Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon. The toughest climb of the ride, a brutal wall up onto the Mendips, came at 390km into the ride at around 2am on Sunday... followed swiftly by the welcome stop chez Drew at his Randonneur Heaven of the Mendips where full English breakfasts awaited and riders snuggled up close on warm floors for a spot of shut-eye till around 5am. Read Billy's marvellous ride report here (why does he prefer to sleep in a bus shelter just before getting to Drew's house?) Strava 1 Strava 2
The biggest rides of the year are yet to come: London-Edinburgh-London in July and a Baltic Tour in August.
Wessex Super Randonneurs - we are a small select bunch!