The day finally came.
Given the recent weather I was not looking forward to the ride. I
had my excuses prepared, poor weather, poor preparation and as I went
to bed I was feeling poorly. So 2 paracetamol and 2 ibruprofen and
early to bed, for a 4:30 alarm. Two more paracetamol in the morning
and I was off (we had run out of ibruprofen otherwise I would have
taken them as well). At least this way I would be o.k. for the start.
Got away at 6:55 on their clock and out of Greenwich into not the
most picturesque area of England however all along the route were
depart posters and the roads were having the potholes filled and man
hole covers refitted.
The run to Rochester was uneventful, although some of the
behaviour of the cyclists left a lot to be desired. Clearly it is
not motorists or cyclists that are the problem. It's people.
At Rochester we turned South towards Royal Tunbridge Wells and
straight into a horrible headwind. By now with the problems of
traffic in London and this head wind my average speed had dropped to
17.48mph and the rain started. However the rain never got to more
than a light drizzle so me wearing two tops, leg warmers and
waterproof overshoes was both over the top and causing me to
At 50 miles to go I started to loose the plot, I was depressing my
self by watching my the miles count down on my speedometer and my
legs were hurting. At this point I switched to the Average speed
display which showed 17.5mph so I reached in my pocket for the energy
gel I had been given in the registration pack. To say it tasted
horrible does not do it justice, but since by this time I was
drinking an energy drink that was a mixture of black currant and Lime
I was not best placed to be rational about the taste. Either it was
fabulous or it was all in my head all the time. My legs stopped
hurting and I was doing 23mph with a cross wind since we turned East.
Then we turned North and for once the wind was behind us. A group
of us got a chain going and we were skipping along at 28-30mph. In
the final 5 miles was when I hit my maximum speed as we flew into
My speedometer, which since we did not get rained on worked, gave
Average Speed (according to the bike computer)
Average Speed (manually)
I just got a text message from the organizers and my official time
is 6:47:20 which is 17.67mph (using the official distance of
120miles) including all the stops. I stopped twice at feed stations
and for every red light.
All in all a most enjoyable day, although my daughter has now
vindicated one of my excuses, I have a temperature of 102ºF.
Hardly a Greg Lemond moment but at least I'm not going mad.