Friday, 21 March 2014

Blogging, Borough, Bread, Boris & Box (Hill)

I am lucky or mad enough to be doing the Ride London 100 mile sportive on Sunday 10th August, although I will be the cycling equivalent of a fun runner at a marathon!

I put myself forward last year after the FreeCycle event I did last year with Ranty Junior, partly because of the amazing atmosphere and partly because I had promised myself that 2014 would see me doing a cycling challenge.

I did the London to Brighton in 2012 as as result of a drunken agreement with old friends at a school reunion in September 2011 which was the end of my first year as someone commuting to work by bike and I guess at the beginning of my journey to learn how we could better provide for cycling as a day to day form of transport.

My father ran the London Marathon twice in the early eighties which has always been an inspiration and as a result, I have always wanted to tackle my own challenge. The trouble is I am rubbish at running and my knees couldn't take it anyway, so cycling it is! 

After walking up most of Ditchling Beacon and after a rest I got
to glide down into Brighton! I wonder what Box Hill will be like?
The London to Brighton Ride was one of the best days I have ever spent in the saddle and while it was billed at 54 miles, I actually did 67 on the day when taking into account the logistics of getting to the start and home again via Clapham Common! At the finishing line, I thought that the ride was the most difficult physical challenge I had ever done and I vowed never again. 

2013 saw my normal commutes and plenty of leisure cycling (including my Summer of Space for Cycling), but nothing challenging. This year is a different matter! I know there are many people out there who can eat up 100 miles for breakfast and they often do. I am not a regular long-distance cyclist and so this is my personal challenge. Although the London to Surrey 100 is nothing to do with everyday cycling the roads will be closed and it will give a brief window on what feeling safe in the saddle could be. 

I am looking forward to the ride, but I need to up my fitness and so will be embarking on my first long ride of the year early tomorrow morning which will be a blast straight into the City, a loop around Westminster, followed by a dive into South London and with a breakfast stop at Borough Market (and I will pick up some interesting bread!). I will then need to summon up some energy to slog it back out East. The thing that also pushes me on is the realisation that Boris Johnson did the 100 last year - if can, then so can I!

So, if you see a sweating lump pedalling through East, Central and South London tomorrow morning, wearing red or orange top (depending on if it is raining at the time) on a grey hybrid, then give him a wave and perhaps a shout of encouragement as it will be me attempting to get a little fitter for the summer. I might even get a chance to take some snaps while I am out as I don't like to miss an opportunity to be a #streetgeek and I might have something else to blog about. See you in the saddle.


  1. I wouldn't worry about box hill. It's a good consistent gradient, and you can see the top of the steep bit before you start going up it. I took it last year at a nice steady pace, as did everyone around me at the time, including a copper who was moving from one post to another by bike!

    It's Leith Hill that's the harder one. Bigger. A never ending succession of steep twisty narrow country lane. No signs to let you know how much further to the top. Then a terrifying descent through narrow, rock walled, lanes whilst vastly more confident riders bomb past either side.

    Bloody loved the ride last year. Doing it again

  2. Hey, I have no shame in getting off to walk. Today's ride was 46 miles which I was quite pleased with, despite the stops to take #streetgeek photos meaning that I was out for hours!

    The L2B was good at the end, because being on a hybrid, I was able to bomb past the racers ;-)

  3. And this from Bez makes any of my worries disappear. Words fail me.

    This is now at £17,000.

    This is why. …

    Keep it going.