Elvis Costello

Just over two weeks on and I’m recovered, back on the bike and now in training for another event. Only 27 miles this time – childs play!!

If you fancy it, Evans Cycles RideIt! events are well worth having a go – they are well organised, good fun and give you 3 options to try: Short, Medium or Long/Epic. I’ve signed up for one around Basingstoke so it’ll be good to try somewhere I’ve never been before.

But now to today’s subject at hand. And its one of my pet peeves I’m afraid!

Folding bikes…. Bromptons…. Just wtf are they all about? I’m sorry, but they simply are not bikes. I can understand they have a use for commuters and, in doing so give us some good comedy value:

However, during my recent training runs I came across more and more people riding them off-road and, on occasion, attempting quite severe off-track climbs that you’d struggle to walk up!! Not only that but everyone riding them seemed to have some sort of fixed glazed smiling expression usually seen on the faces of hare krishna followers!

Is there some sort of endorphin-based high that you get when you have to pedal far too much because your ride has ridiculously small wheels?

But the final straw came during the Prudential Ride 100 when I saw this:

Grrrrrrrrrrrr……

Why does this all annoy me? I frankly have no idea! We all have our pet peeves, me maybe more than most. But I can safely say that you can include these “bikes” in my list!

Anyway, rant now over. I’ve gone public. Time for some music. Its a bit of a laboured connection but Brompton is next Chelsea – and I dont want to go to either…!

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Lou Reed

I’m sure you’ve all been very concerned as I haven’t piped up since the big day of the ride. But fret no more – I made it and I survived!

Wow, what a day! It started early with a 5.30 alarm clock setting and then a trip to the start line to find that I was very far from the first….

Waiting to start - not nervous at all...!

Waiting to start – not nervous at all…!

It was pretty cold, especially that first mile or two before the legs got warmed up but there was company, a clear and quiet Richmond Park and Thames path and we cycled into the sun so you could feel the day warming up.

Pretty soon we were out into rural Surrey – and who knew there was an old airfield at Wisley? These are exactly the sort of things you find when you get off-road.

By this time I was already passing breakdowns and punctures so my fingers were firmly crossed.

Crossing fields, woodland paths with the sun coming through the trees, some hairy descents and some stiff climbs. We had them all as proven below:

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Across the North Downs

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Through the woods!

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It’s steeper than it looks, honest….

 

As proven by my expression...

As proven by my expression…

Now remember, the ride length was 75miles – not something to be underestimated. My level of mathematical genius allowed me to work out that an average of 10mph would mean a 7.5hr ride. But the climbs en route were something I’d never experienced before so would I be able to keep that pace? Or was I being over-ambitious?

Then I heard about Tourettes Hill…. The last hill before the finish is apparently nicknamed as such because it so damn steep. “It can’t be that bad” I thought. And my first words that I uttered when I saw it? “You’re f*@king joking…” which at least made two blokes having a rest chuckle.

And that explains the nickname Tourettes Hill…..

Then I got to the top and what a relief!

This way for a rest....

This way for a rest….

A welcome sight!

A welcome sight!

After that it was all down hill/level in to the finish and by that time I was good and ready to stop, as you can imagine. In the end I’d averaged just under 9mph so completed in around 8.5hrs (lack of precision due to my phone charge running out!) but I’m just pleased to have finished and got my medal. Here’s the proof:

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

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Where’s the chips??

I just wish I’d had the energy to stand in line for the massage because my legs were killing me the next day! Never mind, it was a great ride and I’m definitely doing it again next year.

Lots of thanks go to the British Heart Foundation and all the volunteers that manned the course that day: a bunch of stars!

All in all, a Perfect Day (well nearly….don’t get me started on the rugby)