The weather forecast said that it would be the start of a VERY hot spell in the south of England and boy they where so right. With this in mind I made sure that we loaded up properly with as much water as we could carry. But also making sure that anytime we came across a place to top up to take it.
3 HARDCORE members (OrangeBrompton, Mark W, and Geoff S) where cycling from Charming Cross Road Station, London to Whitstable Beach. (70+miles)
7 of us normal humans of the club decided to take the train from Victoria Station, London to Otford which is about 30 miles into the ride and join the hardcore at this point. So in all it would be for me about 47 miles but for the hardcore, closer on 77 miles. Good training for them as they are doing The Dunwich Dynamo (120 miles) ride next weekend.
We arrived at Victoria in good time and found a couple of members of the LBC that I hadn't met before. Got my ticket early from the machine as it seemed ALOT of people at Victoria Station had the same idea to take a train to go somewhere in what turned out to be a wonderfully sunny hot day.
Short train journey and we was all at Otford Station, did have to wait as one of our number missed the train as the line for the ticket machine was pretty long. But our timing was pretty good as not long after I arrived the hardcore trio arrived.
|The legend has arrived...|
|Getting a few supplies|
|The LBC getting ready to roll|
On recent training sessions I have been focusing more on my breathing, making sure I get enough oxygen into my lungs, therefore into the blood which supplies the muscles with what they need. I wanted to take my heart monitor which comes with the Garmin but forgot. One day I will bring it all together on a big ride like this and get full complete ride data for it. What I would do with all that data I have no idea, but I like viewing it all though.
Didn't do much in the way of taking photos but just got on with the ride.
|Bumble B & OrangeBrompton in the shade|
|It's a little warm|
|More shade and water top up|
We finally made it to the Kings Arms Bar & Restaurant, which was in the middle of a little hill. I was really hitting abit of a wall at this point and thankfully the pub was just 200 yards away and everyone decided it was a good place to have lunch and alittle break.
Ordered up myself a awesome "Trio of Wild Boar Sausages served on a bed of creamy mash with onion gravy and fresh veg" and VERY yummy and filling it was too. At this point i've been making sure that I been drinking plenty of water as I could feel and see the signs of de-hydration as I was starting to get a little headache. As soon as I took on water the headache eased away.
|Well earned lunch|
After lunch we continued on to Whitstable Beach our target and we was only half way there.
the rest of this ride was just a blur of cars on country lanes, hills, tarmac roads & not so good un used roads. It was on one of these rough loose roads that we had our first and only puncture on this little ride. Mark W had a rear wheel puncture but was quickly sorted and we was all on our way again. When we did catch up with the few that was ahead of us they where just sitting topping up their tans :P
|Inspecting Mark W's repair|
|Glowing beacon of delight|
|Bumble B taking a little rest|
At this point we all pushed on to get to the Whitstable Beach for a well earned ice cream, fish & chip dinner before we headed back on the train.
|Well earned ice cream on the beach|
|Having a quick shot with beach huts|
|We made it|
|Trademark Bumble B|
Garmin Edge 800 Data: LBC: Otford to Whistable Beachfront
After a good rest and food we decided to catch the train back to London.
Now this is where the TRUE adventure began....
|Heading to Whitstable Station|
|The adventure begins|
|All lined up ready to go|
Everyone was jumping on this train as they had no idea when the next one would be. We all managed to get on in the end. With the trains being all full up and families running late with kids etc people where a little on edge. On the first train there was abit of trouble and maybe even a fight broke out the next carriage down. While British Transport Police where dealing with it at the station the train company decided to transfer everyone to another train as this one was not going to Victoria any more.
Cue everyone grabbing their stuff and running down stairs then up stairs to get to another platform to get on another train heading to Victoria Station. I think in the end we did this about 5 times in total as there had been some problems service since early afternoon. Signalling problems and people on the tracks as well near London. At one point we was told to get off the train we was on only to be told 30 seconds later to be told the train we was getting off changed to go to London, Victoria again. Crazy.
Running about with a folded Brompton is interesting and something I don't want to repeat again if possible.
So the return home by train was took almost as long as cycling to Whitstable in the first place. We I did finally get home it was just past 01:00hrs in the morning. Hot shower and bed for me at that point.
It was a damn good ride and one I'm most pleased about with my performance. I actually rode up quiet a few more hills than I have done in the past which I'm most proud of.
Next week is The Dunwich Dynamo XXI which is 120 miles from Londonfields Park, Hackney to the Dunwich Coast, Suffolk but I'm personally not going to do it as for me that is just way to far in my current physical condition.
I'm getting there but not quiet yet.