(See update below)
The Pashley and Chopper Challenge is taking place on the 21 June over three days and as the name suggests, it’s going to be a challenge. We are cycling the Coast to Coast all 137 miles on what could be two of the most impractical bikes possible.
The Pashley is a 1950s delivery bike. It is a finely restored single speed beast that weighs in at 53lbs, without rider or deliveries. It steers like a pregnant cow and with warning can stop… eventually! Tyre changes require the removal of most of the back of the bike and can almost be done in forty minutes! And I will be riding that, oh joy of joys!
I will of course be in sartorial tune and be wearing plus fours, waist coat and cloth cap. Admitedly not quite delivery boy attire and somewhat more in keeping with a sporting gent. However, I am sure I shall blend in well with the Cumbrians and the locals of the Upper Tees and Wear valleys. I have no doubt they will mistake me for one of thier own and I anticipate many questions asking the whereabouts of the regular delivery lad.
The Chopper on the other hand has been pimped up and while it is essentially and arguably a design classic from the seventies it now sports the addition of an extra three gear derailleur. So, with the original three speed Sturmey Archer it is now a spritely nine speeder.
Aparently Nigel was a Disco champion back in the 1970s which goes someway to explaining his choice in bike and his almost enviable taste and style. We hope that Nigel brings some of that disco magic to the Challenge as he dances on those pedals and doesn't scare the locals witless.
The Chopper always had an issue with hills and the seventies had an issue with build quality. We’ll be watching Nigel's progress with interest and from a safe distance.
Oh, and if fifty year old men and Purple Raleigh Choppers interest you please have a look on his web site http://purplechopper.wordpress.com
We are both C2C veterans and this will be my seventh C2C and Nigel’s sixth jaunt across the country. We have both done it in a day before but this really does threaten to be the most challenging and difficult attempt to date. No sponsored event should be undertaken without an element of risk, challenge or pain so please dig three times as deep and help us raise money for CPAG, which is the leading charity campaigning for an end to child poverty in the UK and a very worthy cause.