Sunday, 20 July 2008

London to Southend 2008

Do you ever have one of those days when the gods seem to conspire against you and something you had planned to do, you begin to woder if it's such a good idea after all? Well, today was one of those days.

It all began yesterday when we went to a BBQ. Rather than sticking to frut juice and leaving at a sensible time, I stuck to the Budweisers, didn't eat as I was going to have a pasta when we got home, but then didn't leave when I had planned to and so missed dinner altogether. Had a terrible night's sleep, woke late and missed the train I had planned to catch and had to miss breakfast as I was running late. No problem though, as I bagged some bananas and an energy ar planning to eat breakfast on the train. All well and good but I left the extra Gatorade at home and so was feeling quire dehydrated.

Once on the train though, things started to change for the better. There were engineering works on my line which meant all trains were being diverted to Liverpool Street – and one of the stops included Stratford. So, no need to have to change and get the organised train. There were lots of other people on the train taking part in the ride and it was good to while away the journey chatting to like-minded souls.

Then it was off the train and cycle to the starting point at Victoria Park. I got there and was ready for the off at 8.00, my original intended start time. All was well that ended well.

The ride was great fun, and for the large part very well marshalled. There was the usual crap trying to get out of London as we sat at red light after red light. But once on the outskirts the roads were a dream. There are a series of hills just outside London at Chigwell which were a right killer last year and I have to admit to walking up the last one. This year though, it was ride all the way – not without a great deal of effort mind you.

The wind wasn't too much of a problem apart from at a place called Hannignfield where there must be a two mile stretch of road running alongside the reservoir where 15 mph headwinds were blowing – not a lot of fun just over half way into the ride when the legs are starting to feel it a bit.

I must admit though that I was pleased to arrive at the finish line and the jacket potato was to die for!

I was very pleased that I considerably improved on my time – last year took me 4 and half hours, this year took only 3 hours 50 minutes.

Can't wait for next year!!!


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