They said it couldn't be done, SHOULDN'T be done.....
We are Brompton riders, when we hear those words, we unfold our bikes and ride into the fire!!!!
Opening my eyes with a grin on my face as I knew today was the day of the EPIC ride. This would be the longest ever ride I've been on. The last longest ride was the Marathon at the BWC2012 back in August which was around 26miles, this is goign to be over 60 (yes you saw SIX ZERO miles)
|The legend is ready to go on an EPIC ride.|
As I have read on Mr.O's blog regarding fuelling up properly before a big ride, I made sure I had a big bowl of Porridge & Toast. Also the night before I had been drinking as much water as possible to.
With everything packed I headed off to Richmond via the tube. As always while travelling with "The Legend" I get quiet a few looks from fellow passengers which always makes me smile.
Finally arrived at the starting point of Richmond Station and spotted a whole group of Bromptons at the small coffee shop which was being invaded >:) When me and Bumble B rolled up a big cheer went up as "The Legend had arrived...!" greeted with big smiles and lots of hellos from everyone, some I have ridden with before and some new folks as well. 11 of us where starting off from this point and we where heading to a crazy place called "The Monkey's Forehead" which I have later learned that the local students call it something completely different ;)
As everyone was starting too line up for some pictures I made a discovery. I forgotten the most basic rule of photography, making sure the battery is fully charged. Yes my battery was fully charged but STILL charging at home where I left it. I couldn't believe I had left the battery at home but took the camera with me. So camera and no battery. I couldn't even buy a battery as when you buy a battery they are NEVER fully charged. Anyways I wasn't the only person with a camera so they took a good few which will be posted to the LBC facebook group in due time. I did have my iPhone but I don't like using that too often as the battery life on my 3GS isn't all that great anymore and I should upgrade it at some point.
Anyways after the photos we began to make a move to another meeting point about 17.5 miles away where we where going to pick up a couple more riders.
This was the first major hill we went up & a damn good pub at the end called, wait for it "The Monkey's Forehead"
Yup you heard right. I later found out that the students call it something slighty different and I'm pretty sure you can imagine what ;). If it wasn't for the promise of a damn good breakfast for silly money I wouldn't have bothered as the pub is on the top of a BIG hill. Because alot of the students come to this pub the prices are pretty damn good for London & its pretty popular. I had a light breakfast seeing I already had a decent breakfast from home. Even the light breakfast was pretty good.
|At the Monkey's Forehead|
|The Monkey's Forehead|
After making sure we was all fuelled up we head off to Oxford, as you do. :P
After getting out of the city & cycling our little butts off we made it to some nice open country type roads. The pace was good but sometimes a little high which is good for me as then I will do better in my cycling and getting fitter at the same time. We made sure at most of the points where we turn that we waited to make sure everyone was together so no one got lost anywhere along the way. I have to say along alot of the smaller country lane type roads the traffic was pretty good in passing our little group. I think only a couple of times we had irritated drivers driving past us too fast or too close but then there is always a few. When we did have people passing us on the road, be it fellow roadie cyclist, car drivers even van drivers, we all got a big smile and a wave. Which reminds me next time we do a big ride type thing to maybe have a little notice on our bikes that tells people about the club and what the day of riding is. Maybe hanging from the back of our saddles
Something along the lines of :
London Brompton Club Ride:
Richmond to Oxford
29th September 2012.
I did have the idea in my head but I didn't have time to really get it together, next time.
Anyways back to the ride itself, at about 28miles we stopped off in front of this house that had a bush of berries in front of it and a few riders had a little nibble. On wards again and roughly about half way there (32 miles) we came to our half way point of a little pub called The Bell Inn. After Lunch we headed off to continue on to Oxford, we was then told that a pretty evil monster of a hill was coming and at about the 42mile mark we hit it. This hill or should i say MOUNTAIN was pretty bad to go up and it was about 4miles long on winding roads so you never actually saw the top. You looked ahead and think the top is just around the next bend only to find that it continues on. Some of it I walked but even then I tried to make sure I kept up a good walking pace and focused on breathing to get up there. Our group of riders had been splitting up into almost 2 groups, the fast strong legged riders and the normal humans >:P I was caught in between so going up this hill I was on my own for the most part just me and The Legend. When I got to the summit I was greeted by the cheers and crazy waving of the riders that had gone ahead and waiting for everyone else. With this I was given a burst of energy knowing the end was in sight and I jumped on Bumble B and cycled up the last 200 yards or so. They don't call it Pishill for nothing :D
After waiting for everyone to catch up & having a little break, we then continued to the fun part. The down hill. Now when I saw the sign saying 10% grade I thought pfft I'm gonna just let The Legend run and see what speed I would get up to and didn't touch the brakes >:D
I topped out at 40.6mph according to my Cateye Wireless cycle comp & the Edge 800 was about 39.9mph.
Now it was the final leg (20 miles) heading into Oxford, we could feel the sun starting to dip and now the temp was starting to drop so we all pushed on to our goal, Oxford. We all got a little worried at one point as we where waiting for a couple of others to catch up and 1 quick call and everything was fine just basically running on empty. At about 55miles I must have tuned off the timer (accidently) on the gps as it didn't log the route properly but it was basically the only road into Oxford.
Finally we made it into Oxford and we was then trying to find some land makr to take a photo of all who made it the whole way as proof we made it. I think we got a photo outside a Oxford University. We then decided what was going to be our next move, we descided that the best thing would be to find the train station and get tickets and timetable so we can see how long we could stay before our trains. A couple of us went straight away as they needed to get home, I stayed as I wanted to get some food as I was pretty hungry. We rode back a short way and the manager of the Giraffe Restaurant, Oxford allowed us to have out bikes folded up inside nice and safe. Big thanks to the manage for allowing us in especially on a busy Saturday night. Have to say the food was great I had a good meal which was only let down by the TINY bakewell tart and custard. Well cant have everything I guess.
At this point my cycling buddy handed out our medals for making it the whole way and there was also certificates for the Events Manager (Mick B) and our chief navigator. A job well done but all
|London Brompton Club: Richmond to Oxford Ride Medal|
I'm very glad I did it.
Looking forward to the next ride now :) below is the my gps log of the whole ride for the techie people out there.