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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

"Don't be a dick." Charlie the Bikemonger knows a few things about brevity. He's also fluent in sinlge speed races, or "reliability trials," or "liability trials." Whichever.

Maybe this doesn't make sense to folks who weren't there, but that's ok. It doesn't need to. All you need to know is that Dorset in the UK is a very hard place to get to, but very much worth the effort. Gut-twisting climbs up massive seaside mounds always paid off with stunning views and rebel yell descents. Cold clammy camping was tempered by the friendliest bonfire in the English (or some variant thereof) speaking world. And single speeding is still alive despite the efforts of all of us.

This is what I remember:

Front, close up view of a can of SPAM, sitting on top of a Surly bike shown from the rear, laying on it's right side

Camping provisions are best eaten with the Official SSUK GPS Device.


A campfire at night with people sitting behind it

This is almost never a bad thing.


Front view of a person, speaking to 2 people that are facing them, on a grass area with the ocean in the background

Something in England is "about this tall."


A large group of cyclists with their bikes laying all around, in a green grass field with blue sky above

The "start" of the "race" was pretty "tense."


Upward, rear view of cyclists riding up a green grass hill, with blue sky above

Going up is hard.


Rear view of a cyclist on a grass hilltop next to a gravel road, watching another cyclist riding up the hill

Looking back down made up for the hard.


Downward view of a museum's dinosaur display that's behind glass - miniature size display

A few racing firsts were achieved - stopping at a museum to see dinosaur footprints for one.


Rear view a person, speaking to a front facing person that's standing at the rear of a vehicle and under a canopy

A local selling fancy cheeses at the finish line was another.


Right side view of a person in a red, plaid sportcoat, under a white event tent, speaking from microphone

And I now feel that every race should have a poet scheduled at some point in the day.


Front view of 4 smiling people, posing shoulder to shoulder, inside of a white tent canopy

The two on the right won (though we're not entirely certain how that was tabulated). The two on the left were ineligible - one for organizing, the other for being far too American.


So, if you're ever in Swanage, or possibly if you're in Birmingham next year, ride a bike with one gear and you'll probably learn something vital. Either that, or you won't. Still... do.