So, after Chris Preston kept tempting me to do some unusual rides, I agreed to do the DD (veteran parlance). On Sat Jul 13th just after 6pm,
4 members of the club; Mark Colmer, Tom Muldoon, Chris Preston and myself assembled on St Neots Train station. Simon Richardson joined us at Sandy. Spirits were high, amazing how 5 blokes together act immature. Vincent Murray was to join us at London Fields. Cycling from Finsbury Park to London Fields was an experience in itself, I can never get used to riding in London (I don't like it). The start area was so busy, so many people and well-wishers, mass of colour and lots of different bikes. The ages of the cyclists varied a lot. Fancy dress in abundance. The pub was busy and the BBQ was having a roaring trade, Vincent and Simon took advantage of a pint (and it wasn’t their last). Around 8pm people started to roll-out. Mark and Tom set off first and the other 4 of us started about 8.10pm. Was a busy start and plus we had to negotiate the traffic, lots of cyclists and you could see this was a carnival atmosphere. Negotiating the roads and the cycle paths until the North Circular was a bit scary but we soon hit the outskirts. Chris Preston and I cycled together and we were either passing or being passed by cyclists. As the roads were busy some of the drivers were not at their best but to be fair some cyclists weren't either. Following a regroup at the Shell Garage before Epping we set off again. At last I got into my stride and we were soon passing riders. Was interesting as it got dark, it put a different perspective on things. First stop in a village was at about 30 miles and we could reflect on the ride so far. Off we went again and I managed to get my cycling legs going. Sudbury Fire Station was next at about half-way, it was so busy and the Fire Station staff outdid themselves. The cheeseburger was most welcome. We met Vincent and Simon there and had a catch-up. Off again and I got into my stride and was averaging well over 16mph for some 20 miles. Then I hit a low and had to rely on Chris to keep me going. Was this going to be a long finish, no, at about 80 miles I got my second wind and we cruised to the next stop about 20 miles from the end. Bacon sarnie, tea and a good break. Vincent rolled in; he had no money left so a tenner was lent (couldn't leave him hungry could I)? So off we all went, we soon lost Vincent after about 5 miles. Dawn rose at about 4.30am, and it started drizzling. It was a hard cycle to the finish but I did my pb for 100 miles. Great breakfast at the end and the lift back with Long Tours was most welcome. So, all in all great iconic ride, would I do it again ask me next week! Thanks to Chris Preston for his encouragement and thanks for tempting me out. Shout out to Mark Colmer and Tom Muldoon for finishing just after 4am, great ride chaps. Vincent and Simon clearly entered into the spirit of the event but they should be flying with all those miles in their legs.