Route: click here
I was up very early today as I’d not managed the best night’s sleep and was anxious to get on the road. Breakfast was nice (porridge, scrambled egg, beans and some bread) and then I dropped my overnight bag off and headed off for the start line.
There was quite a queue for the start as everyone seemed to be up around the same time but we were soon heading off.
The first part of the ride was pretty flat and reasonable fast, towards Marlow and the bridge over the River Thames. After this the elevation kicked up as we approached the Chiltern hills.
Just after we passed High Wycombe we saw the Thames Valley air ambulance in a field and people said the road was closed. Hope it’s nothing too serious but with the air ambulance it probably was :(.
A quick diversion was soon worked out after chatting to some locals outside their house who were cheering us on. Not long after we arrived at the first feed station at Princes Risborough. I was chatting to a guy in the queue for coffee and he was telling me it was a fellow cyclist who had had a suspected heart attack which was the cause of the road closure earlier. I spent the rest of the day hoping the cyclist was ok, as did most of the other riders I’d imagine.
The Chilterns came next starting with a brutal climb up a very steep road to the top. After that it was unrelenting hills, one after the other. Great fun but a little more challenging than normal on tired legs from the 100 miles and lots of climbing yesterday.
Eventually the hills relented and it was the second feed stop in a park at Chiswell Green, a suburb of St Albans. It was lovely and sunny by now so I treated myself to a nice ice cream. Another really well stocked feed stop with crisps and sandwiches again.
The last part of the ride back to Lee Valley was tough going as my legs were tired by now but I kept plodding on and after a nice section through Epping Forest, we headed past the M25 and into the London suburbs.
The only thing of note here is 1 mile from the finishing line a guy right in front of me pulled up very quickly to stop at a pedestrian crossing and in trying to avoid crashing into him I ended up going over my handlebars and landed on the road. Thankfully only a grazed knee and sore hands.
All too soon I was back at Lee Valley and crossing the finishing line. I collected my medal and headed off to get my overnight bag and head off on the long drive home.
An absolutely fabulous weekend with a great route, great organisation, fab weather etc etc. Would I do it again? You bet I would!
Route: click here