By user12625760 on Mar 30, 2007
The plan to use up my remaining days of leave was to use at least one getting some good miles in on the bike. When I mentioned this to the others in Molesey BBT there were three interested. This dropped to just one on the day and only if it was not raining. The weather forecast then reduced it to just me but only after I had detoured to Epson to meet up. I decided to press on to Brighton and possibly turn round when it started raining so that worst case I would only have to ride 50 miles in the rain. (I thing this was a delusion. If it had started to rain 10 miles from Brighton I was hardly going to turn round and not get there.)
I was not complaining though as the route from Brighton from Epson takes you straight over Epson downs then over Headley heath and down Pebble Coombe. I've been descending this hill all my cycling life, firstly as to get from Sutton wear I lived as a teenager, out to the country side this is the least unpleasant way over the North Downs. Then when I bought my first speedometer for my bike, and “Avocet” that cost a fortune then and could only tell you speed, trip distance, trip time & total distance this was the hill I would do 60mph down. Well that was my plan. At around the same time the video/betamax thing was going on and video cameras were becoming available. I thought it would be very cool to video a cyclist's eye view of this.
So yesterday I got my chance at doing the video at last. For a full 60mph attempt you have to approach the hill on the main road and not by turning right as I do in the film. You also have to be doing at least 40mph when you pass the 40mph sign. (When I did this as a youth the speed limit was 60mph so since at the time I did not know speed limits don't apply to cyclists I was still o.k. I will gloss over that my aim was to get to above 60mph as youthful exuberance). You also have to believe you can take the left hand bend without breaking. Top speed is achieved just as you round the bend (hence the saying “Chris youv'e gone round the bend”). My fastest I recall was 58mph which is a testament to my trusty tourer, my legs when I was in my twenties but mostly to sheer stupidity of trying to read a tiny LCD speedometer which is vibrating about as much as this video while also trying to stay on my side of the road.
Yesterday it was a sedate 44mph as recorded by my current speedometer which automatically captures your maximum speed, a great safety feature.
From here on the camera started to play up. I'm beginning to thing that perhaps these cameras are not fit for purpose. This is the second one that fails in the same way as the first. It will power off given the slightest knock. It is as if something inside has vibrated loose as it was good for about an hour but from her on in on the ride it would power off randomly. So I have no video of the run into Brighton which a shame for me but I suspect no one else will be sorry about this.
Once I got to Brighton since the rain had not yet started so I set off straight back with the intention in stopping in the first Cafe I came to after it started raining for a cup of tea and some food. I ended up having the tea on my kitchen table as the rain never came.
Total distance : More than 105 miles @ 16.5 mph. (More than because the speedometer stopped recording for a bit on the return leg. I don't seem to be having much luck with gadgets at the moment. My laptop is currently reinstalling as well).
Total time: 7 hour. Left at 8am and arrived back at 3pm.