Carten100 – A legend is born – 2004
How did a bike ride develop into a 2500 rider annual event that has raised over £1Million for charity? It started with a chat over a garden wall, fuelled by the desire for a beer!
From memories to money raising
In early 2004, next door neighbours and pals Pete (rode 100 miles once in 1993 – more on that in a bit) and Daf (longest ride to date 62 miles a few years prior) were chewing the fat over the garden wall rather than doing the gardening. Pete recalled a legendary Friday night in a Cardiff pub which led to 8 men hastily assembling themselves and their bikes the next morning in Cathedral Road in Cardiff, with the intention of having a beer later that day in the Crown Inn, Tenby. The tales of severe hangovers, mechanicals, lack of fitness and sleeping on arrival were epic. “We need to recreate this ride!” they agreed. And that was that, the Carten100 was born. A few weeks of hasty training (Daf’s longest ride was 50 miles, requiring an afternoon in bed as recovery; Pete managed to find his old bike and made sure the tyres were pumped up!) and our intrepid pair were joined by James and Webby, both veterans of the 1993 Edition. To date, James has ridden every mile of every one of the 16 Carten100 editions to date – Chapeau!!
Your thighs are gonna burn a bit butt!
Webby turned up with a mate’s bike. He had done zero preparation, other than riding this bike to the newsagent the previous day to make sure it worked! The bike was fine, the problem was that the saddle was about 3 inches too low. Daf’s offer of assistance with the saddle was dismissed, and it took 40 miles for the wise words “Your thighs are gonna burn a bit butt!” to sink in and allow a minor adjustment and instant relief for Webby!
Breakfast was an intimate fry up at The Express Café in Margam, a welcome friend in the early years. Lunch was taken in Burry Port. The Sporting Chance in Red Roses was the welcome relief at the end of the endless climb, starting a wonderful relationship with the weary Carten100 traveller.
Tenby was finally reached, and The Crown welcomed us. However, The Prince of Darkness would not get our custom that evening. As you wise readers know, get the training miles in, and you’ve had a great ride. Don’t get the miles in, and you’ll suffer! Once the euphoria of making it and the beers started flowing, the inevitable happened, as soon as we ate, we snoozed!