Surprisingly I managed my cycle ride up to Cambridge. Even more surprisingly I did it about 20% faster than I normally cycle to work...a distance of just 27 km as opposed to the 103 km of this ride. It took four and a half hours of peddling to complete it in the wind rain and cold. I have to say I was pretty chuffed with myself, as it wasn't until I'd left the house that I had decided to do it. I think you can see the route if you click here
It was a trip through my own little history. The start point was just by the changing area for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and as we peddled through London I went past many familiar sights including my father's old factory. Later on we went past Audley End...I remember leaving my bicycle there as a young teenager when I went off for a day trip to London...it was just propped against the wall, completely unchained or shackled and still there on my return - would that happen now?
I didn't really see all that much in the dark...it was heads down stuff and concentration required all the time...the rain was pretty consistent from start to finish, so we ended up soaked top to bottom before we'd hit five miles. It didn't matter too much really...I quite liked the cooling effect, although it made things a bit slippery, especially over drain covers. The wind was blustery so it could catch us unawares, but fortunately it was generally blowing in the right direction. I was delighted to see an owl fly past...they're great to see, and enjoyed the coincidence of a cock crowing as we arrived in Cambridge.
The three refreshment stops were marvellous...a hot warming drink and some energy-giving food were just what I needed. But it did mean that when you went out side again, it felt really, rally cold. The worst time for me was just after the half-way mark after a short stop...out into heavier rain, uphill, loads and loads of pot holes, and nearly missing a turning.
I learnt some things
Being part of an ad hoc team thrown together as we met in the cafe at the start made all the difference. We swapped lead position as one would flag and another would find a burst of energy,we all rolled merrily along as the hours ticked by
You don't get sleepy as you peddle. I had wondered whether I would just fall asleep at some stage...I had no idea what the impact would be
Pot holes can floor anyone. The roads were littered with dangerous pot holes. i managed to miss them all just about, but a good number didn't complete the ride simply because they crashed down the holes and buckled their wheels
A seven car police chase in the middle of the countryside at midnight is not exciting, just terrifying
If you wear a Brighton and Hove Albion shirt on the night of one of the play-offs, people will want to talk to you a lot...so you'd better know what the score is/was
The mysteries of the rail network are beyond belief. I took the train back at a cost of £24 - I was only going to Stratford. The six people who were going all the way to Liverpool Street paid the princely sum of £10.50 each, although they were travelling a longer distance. My route mean a change at Bishops Stortford, onto a train to Liverpool Street and then back to Stratford, even though there is normally a train directly from BS to Stratford....this was the route they made me take, even though it would have been better to have taken the train directly to Liverpool Street and then out again...quicker and cheaper...grrr
As for the title of this post...it was text I sent The Cat's Mother about one in the morning....predictive text can have some interesting results...wonder if you can guess what I thought I'd written