2005: I rode 38 200s, four 300s, four 400s, two 500s, one 600, a fourth and final LEL 1400 and the 2,600 ‘Calais-Brindisi’ giving me another three SRs and 160 points for Randonneur 10,000. This also gave me my second ‘Individual Award’ as they are now known. I didn’t think anyone was anywhere near me, but as previously mentioned, the change in terminology couldn’t totally stop riders from trying to conceal their plans and in October a huge number of points were posted on the website for Peter Turnbull for permanents he’d ridden in the previous few months – it looked like he might just overhaul me. The boot was on the other foot this time. In a frantic last three days of October I rode 1,100km of permanents (recorded as two 400s and a 300) to just pip Peter (who went on to gain the Individual Award himself the following two years). Somehow I managed to take a couple of hours off in the course of this to attend a pre-booked music gig with Anne at Pontardawe Arts Centre, then get a few hours’ sleep at her house in Morrison before resuming the ride.
I was also a member of the winning Easter Arrow (with George Hanna, Judith Swallow Ritchie Tout and J-P Lamb-Horth) and Summer Arrow (with George Hanna, Judith Swallow Ritchie Tout) teams – the AUK Hall of Fame shows that I was only in the Easter team and that J-P was in the Summer team, but in fact J-P was in the Easter team and I was in both – could the record please be set straight on this? Whilst gaining my highest Audax total ever in 2005 I still managed to take a Sunday off in September to ride the Welsh 12-hour time trial. During the ‘Noughties’ I was time trialling a fair bit as well as audaxing, including several 12-hour and Mersey Roads 24-hour events. These are I believe are natural sister events to Audax and a motion proposed by Jim Roberson and myself to make 24-hour time trials count for AUK points for the distance covered does seem to have encouraged increased participation in those events from Audax riders which has helped support these events in recent years.
Anne was back to riding in a big way now and rode most of the rides I did to gain 116 points and the Individual Award – opposite sex for the second time. Late in the season she did a couple of rides without me to maximise her points total and seal this; the Sunday after riding the Chiltern-Cotswold event Anne rode a DIY permanent from Ealing to Cheltenham, intending to catch a train from there back to Swansea to be ready for work the next morning. It turned out to be a bus replacement service and she was only able to get as far as Cardiff where she stayed at my place and had to go straight on to her work meeting next morning wearing a pair of my knickers! Easily the highlight of the year though was riding the Calais-Brindisi together in 12 days, a fantastic ride, after which we spent another 11 days touring around the Salentino Peninsula (the heel of Italy) and then across to Rome for a final romantic couple of days before flying home.