Made it to the meeting point on the South Bank head on time, I could hear Big Ben's bells ringing 9am as I approached my fellow LBC nutcases. Yes there I said it NUTCASES
Got to have a look at the latest 2013 Brompton with all the new bits and bobs on that was Matt's spanking new B. This will be Matt's first ride with the LBC and first ride on his new B. Pretty brave for a spanking new B too.
Before I left the house I managed to see there was a new updated route posted which I downloaded into my Garmin Edge 800 which later on would prove invaluable in places. On the way though towards Hackney area I was following Matt I saw the small wheel from the rear mudguard fell off, quick stop to pick up the pieces and we was off again. It was THAT new, hasn't been tightened up yet after leaving The London Bike Show, plus I think Matt had been tinkering with the new B the day before and hadn't tightened everything up as much as it should be. I definitely think the LBC Maintenance Class is in order for him to get to know his B better and get to know how to look after his prize winning currently unnamed Brompton.
We all set off in the direction of East London, yup my neck of the woods. We got to the Hackney area to meet up with Nancy & Alan the final members of the group going on this epic ride.
When we did set off again we actually went right past my garage and a few of my work mates saw me in my full cycling gear wondering what "What's that nut case up to now?!"
Told them I was on my way to Cambridge with a few friends. Cue stares of disbelieve.
Just after we past Lea Valley Ice Rink we started on our first bit of muddy path riding. With the recent weather the paths where pretty muddy and slowed everyone down quiet alot. This would have a major effect on all of us but especially me. Even with the brand new tires on it was VERY slippy out there and a few times my rear would slip out when I put the power on and front would slip away from me if I turned too quickly trying to avoid the bigger muddier puddles.
|Short rest stop on Canal Lock|
|Off we go again|
|Mr. O checking his muddy shoes|
|Checking tire is on straight|
|All pumped up with CO2 Regulator|
We started to get on proper country lanes now and the roads where starting open up and we was getting exposed to the elements full force. I found this was the most difficult part of the ride as there was a few inclines which I always have trouble with no matter what but I soldiered onwards. I knew the half way point was close at hand and promised myself I would consider jumping in Mick's car for a short while afterwards as I was pretty much completely beat at this point. Managed to get to 'The Bull Inn' at Much Hadham at the half way point with the beaming smile of my Co Founder Mick beaming at me from a distance which stirred me on for the last few hundred meters. There is probably some photos of me looking pretty knackered on that last bit.
After having a damn good fish & chip lunch with a lovely lemon margarine pie I made the decision to join Nancy & Alan and take a rest in the Mick's car which was full of doughnuts. I resisted pretty well as it goes and there was about 30 different doughnuts in the back.
|Hardcore LBC Riders set off|
|Getting though the village|
|Still happy after getting up that hill|
|Stopping for a little rest|
|Passing some lovely English countryside|
|Sunset is coming|
|Saved with Mick and his headlights.|
|It's pretty dark out in the country side|
After a little stop off in Fowlmere, Mick suggested I re join the ride and thought I felt alot better and there where no more hills so I did for the last 10 miles into Cambridge.
|Cambridge Cycle Path|
|One dirty tired Legend|
Personal Thoughts:I have to say that this was my most difficult ride to date. The weather being a major factor in this as well as my general fitness level which I really have say is pretty poor.
I will have to really think hard on some of the big long rides I have coming up this year as to whether I can actually do them.
I want to keep my "The Promise" I made myself that I would do every ride that came along but after this I may have to break that promise & see the reality of it. I get alot of encouragement from everyone that's around me which I truly dearly love and I love you all for it but I have to look at myself cold and hard to see if its actually possible for me to do these long distance rides.
My Garmin Edge 800 Ride Data