One of the nice things about the British Heart Foundations annual London to Brighton bike ride is that it's not a race. So I could lie and say that I did it in two hours 58 minutes - all 54 miles of it. I could, but I won't. This year it took me 4 hours 12 minutes and a few seconds. Quite frankly, the time is immaterial, turning up and finishing is what matters, it's a great cause and a fun day out - what could be better?
This year I was in the 7am start line, having been rather late in putting my application in. Last year I started at six, an antisocial time to be sure but, for those of us who care about times, the best time to depart.
Like the two previous years I stayed with friends in New Maldon which meant I had a seven mile ride to the start line. Being keen to be starter 6001 rather than 9000 (the starts being staggered in approximate blocks of 3000 (my guessitmate) I got up at 4:45 and was on the road less than an hour later. It meant of course that I arrived at Clapham Common just after six am, and so had quite a wait for my start. Fortunately I chose the right lane to queue up in and we were off, I crossed the line around 7:02.
Being so late starting meant that there were 6000 bikes in front of me and the first few miles were tortuous. I checked my watch at one point and it seems from the bike computer that it had taken over 20 minutes to complete 5km. Hmm, no problem, only 85 to do!. Thankfully, the further out of London we got the better the roads became, although there were several times when there were so many bikes on the road that we had to stop and wait to get through.
The good news is that, when I had clear road, I just flew. The Cube is a really great bike and, in the main, I was able to really hit the course. I did fall off once, knocked off by another rider trying to avoid a dismounting MTB-er and I did have to take a nature break on the way. At a provided stop, lest anyone wonder.
And I nearly made it up Ditchling Beacon. Nearly, but it was close. As ever a great ride, no aches and pains on the day - just wait 24 hours!!
As usual, a huge thank you to my brother for a) taking me up to London on the Saturday and b) collecting me from Brighton on the Sunday. Thanks also to Carole for Sunday lunch (and shower facilities!) and it'd be completely remise of me not to thank Chrs and Annette for their hospitality on the Saturday evening. Without you all, I'd never do it in the first place.
More to come.
Last updated: 24/06/2009 00:19:15
© Shogem 2009