I’ve known Steve Abraham for so long now, I can’t really remember a time when his antics both on and off the bike haven’t been a part of my life. Riding a November 600 with Steve and Ian Hennessey particularly stands out. Steve’s ability to cover lots of miles, usually on brevets, and to eat large quantities of food is legendary within the Audax UK community. Steve is putting both of these extra-special talents to take on Tommy Godwin’s long-standing year mileage record of 75,065 miles, set in 1939.
Being an audaxer used to riding his bike at odd hours of the night and not wanting to waste a minute of the 365 days he has to accumulate more miles than Tommy did, Steve started turning the pedals of his Raleigh bicycle at 00:01 on 1st January 2015.
After spending the night a-wheel, Steve rocked up at 10am to ride his club’s New Year’s Day 10 mile time trial. Well, every little helps! Donning a number befitting the winner of the Tour de France, Steve sped (relatively speaking, with 116 miles in his legs) down the North Bucks Road Club course. Playing with a rather evil headwind and sleepy tiredness, Steve returned to the time keeper half an hour later. After speaking to the men from the telly, it was time to get pedalling again. As Nev Chanin used to say, time is miles.
Steve departed with a small peloton of AUKs in the direction of Bicester. One of these being Drew Buck, well-known super-AUK for his exploits on various crazy machines around Paris Brest Paris. Bunch banter was good with Drew telling us various stories, including the PBP where he and Steve shared a triplet bicycle with Nigel Winter as their middleman. The persistent headwind was a bit pesky and the appearance of hedges and houses to slow the wind down was much appreciated.
After a night feasting on flapjack, the hunger gods tapped Steve on the shoulder and it was time to head to a source of food. Cue an early visit to Bicester on top of the one planned at 3pm for a mega feed before heading back to Milton Keynes. Steve’s encyclopaedic knowledge of food emporiums was deployed and a baby KFC was chosen. Standing in the queue, Steve enjoyed a brief moment of normal life. Once replete with chicken (sans tea or coffee, as the machine wasn’t working), it was time for Steve to ride in circles until his next scheduled rendezvous with Bicester’s eateries. I swung in the opposite direction to meet up with the Bike Butler and then home.
Score on the One Year Time Trial door for 01/01/2015: 222 miles (358km in new money) – mine was considerably less.