This was the third part of my effort for Prostate Cancer UK, after the EG Tri and Tour of Cambridgeshire. Good weather, good route through London to the Surrey Hills on closed roads 🙂 , good natured crowd, 25,000 of us. So, a good day out.
My start was a civilised 8:42 – luxury! – then the usual mayhem while our batch sorted themselves out. Then past the historic sights of London at a steady clip, picking the right wheels to follow and grazing on energy bars from half an hour in. Kingston (22m) came up in a shade over the hour, faster than I can manage a “ten”, so my wheel-sucking talents are still there! Just a couple of hold-ups to clear “incidents” in Richmond Park, then another on Leith Hill, otherwise plain sailing. My tactic on the hills was to cruise up with my granny ring, 32×22. I’d fitted a “big” ring of only 46 (& 14 smallest sprocket) in an effort to keep me up to a reasonable cadence rather than my leg beating habit of shovelling something too big.
After Box Hill it’s mainly down down, and – heaven – I managed to jump behind a fast moving tandem for a long twiddle session from Esher to Kingston. That’s where I stopped and took a detour to the address of the bike shop ( now a letting agent 🙁 ) where my Carpenter bike was made 60 years ago, getting a bemused passer-by to take a snap. By the time weariness set in the finish came along (a tad over 6hs) and it was time to pick up my goody bag and catch the train home. On the way the best bike I saw was a stunning all-chrome space-frame Moulton, a couple of trikes, hardly any other old steel. Quite a few Oxted CC shirts at the end, good to see them enjoy their biking!
If anyone wants to chip in a few quid to Prostate Cancer UK go to https://home.justgiving.com/ and pop my name Peter Bedingfield into the search box. You never know, it may be an investment in your future. My biking mate Ian (Redhill CC) is recovering from his op right now, which gave my efforts added relevance.