Matt Moran

Slaying the Dragon with Jam Tarts

Posted by Matt Moran on Jun 15, 2012

Last week we ran a last-minute competition to win places at the Wiggle Dragon Ride - we knew it would be a fair old commitment from somebody to do with 48 hours notice.  But we managed it, and Tod has just sent us this report from what sounded like a great day.  We must send him some jam tarts...


After one too many post ride “recovery” pints on Thursday night it seemed like a good idea to enter a competition with Wattbike to win entry into Wiggle’s Dragon Ride…and what do you know, I won!!  Result I thought, as I knew the event had sold out in less than 3 hours...however I then looked at the route in more detail and realised it’s a 210 km ride with 3,350 meter of climbing, maybe I should have stayed out of the pub.

So as I set off up the M4 on Saturday night for a cheeky overnight bivy in the car park, reality dawned on me, this ride has as much climbing as the Etape I did last year but was 100 km further… defiantly should of stayed out of the pub!

I was up at 6 to do my best French Goose impression except with museli and tea to set me up for the day and as Michael Fish was predicting all 4 seasons in one day, I put on every layer I had! I registered with ease and was put in the 2nd wave, so I rolled down to the start and we were set off in a matter of minutes.

I joined what looked like a nice steady group however during the usual bike ride banter it turned out half of them had just done the 3-day Tour of Wessex, I think I was punching above my weight, this become all too apparent on the first proper climb as I popped off the back!!

So I settled into a slow but steady pace on the hills and I slowly ticked them off, although it was faster than I wanted as I didn’t  have my granny ring as I had been putting off indexing my gears properly for last month, not an issue in the rolling Hampshire hills however it would have been useful here!!

Luckily at one of the feed station the nice guys at Mavic sorted them for me whilst I stuffed my face with four jam tarts!  Who knew jam tarts were cycling food?!? However after energy bars and drinks they were a great relief, and the best thing about them is you can’t eat them and ride, so it gave me an excuse to have a 5 min break at every feed station.

The hills rolled on from one to another all morning, my GPS didn’t seem to be counting down the km with much enthusiasm, this could have got me down had I not always found someone in a similar position to me to have a chat with on the way up the climbs.

By lunch I’d broken the back of the ride and at the last feed station I was told there was only one more big hill, I would have jumped back on my bike but I hadn’t finished my jam tarts yet and they had done such a great job of fuelling me this far.

Once over the last climb, I my spirits picked up and fuelled on jam tarts I got a right pace on down the hills or so I thought until some sponsored boys came past in their team kit, at a right old lick, their deep carbon rims buzzing through the air, it was as if I was stationary...oh well may be if I trained more!

I finished in a respectable 8:16, collected my goodies and sat down to enjoy the music and grub at the end. I would have loved to stay longer to enjoy it all but the M4 was calling...maybe next year I’ll make a long weekend of it!

Wales may not have the classic climbs of the Galibier or Alpe d'Huez, or the obligatory trendy Rapha top,but if you want a proper challenge just on your doorstep then the Dragon Ride has everything you need.

Further Reading:

Wattbike Shop


dragon ride, road cycling, sportive