Highlands, Glens and Fractal Landscapes

Prelimniaries

During LEL 2013 I heard about a big audax ride through Scotland in 2014. Scotland, yeah! I registered promptly via the Audax UK website as soon as the ride was announced and spent the following months wondering what it would be like and wondering whether I should have chosen another from the plentiful rides scheduled for July 2014 instead (short answer: no, this was the perfect choice). After the usual pre-ride hecticism, an uneventful Heathrow flight and an easy and cheap transfer from London to Ardrossan, I hoped was was ready for all this.
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There and back again (sooner than you think) – PBP 2011

As the group ahead of me braked suddenly, I felt a bump from behind and heard the sound of a bike crashing. My fellow rider Simon wheeled past me and signalled me to stop. I came to a halt by the side of the road, stepped off, took a look at my bike’s rear end and … shock! The derailleur was in pieces and, even worse, the gear hanger had been sheared off. This bike would not go anywhere soon. Out! Finished! My Paris-Brest-Paris was over after only eight kilometres. Four years of training, preparation and anticipation, all in vain. It was Sunday, the 21st of August, 2011, about a quarter to five in the afternoon.
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On the road again – PBP 2011, next try

Paris-Brest-Paris is an event that will take you to your absolute limits. I had had no idea what would expect me – your own body turning into your worst enemy, sleep deprivation driving you into utter madness, the forces of nature conspiring to try and put an end to your ride. Only your iron will to keep you going, turn after turn of your crank… not! I am afraid drama is not something I am particularly good at. So if that is what you are looking for, you need to look somewhere else. My ride report of PBP 2011 is hopelessly mundane, in fact I wonder if I did not miss out on most of the excitement.
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PBP 2011 – Afterthoughts

Just a few things noteworthy in retrospect…
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Fino aqui tutto bene – 1001 Miglia 2010

Prologue

It is always amazing to see what little things make the difference between a great ride and a total disaster. The night before I had been sleep deprived, exhausted, hungry and extremely cold, feeling like the worst incompetent idiot ever seen on two wheels. Half a day later I had a brilliant time, enjoying food and beer at the Todi control amidst my fellow randonneurs and feeling all but invincible. It is not much you need, only a few hours sleep, a caffe doppio, some pastry, several helpings of pasta, a shower, some fresh kit and better roads. And some warm, sunny weather, I should add. Not much at all…
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200k brevet ARA Südbayern in Unterwössen April 18, 2009

A bit cold at the start, but eventually sunny weather for once.

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Homeward Bound – Munich to Lake Constance – 235km

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