Words: Collyn Ahart | Photos: Phil Gale
There were a few nervous faces amongst the 49 riders rolling out of Bordeaux on an overcast Friday the 13th September. Superstition is always considered on a big ride and Simon Mottram’s team – no. 13 – ensured their race numbers were pinned upside down. Others trying to defy the impending doom donned lucky caps, strapped talismanic toys to their bars, or simply bit their nails as they waited to get going. But successfully riding 617km, roughly two-thirds the length of France, from Bordeaux to Paris, was not about chance. It was, in retrospect, a brilliant opportunity for heroism, adventure and camaraderie. As had been articulated at the previous night’s send-off dinner by Martyn Craddock, an Ambitious About Autism trustee riding the event, every rider was heading into the unknown… Here, Collyn Ahart, the event's only female rider, describes the experience.