|<< July 2010||September 2010 >>|
Early morning rides are one of cycling's great pleasures, so I booted this kids out of bed before six this morning for a 40km circuit out to Redditch and Tanworth.
Harry stoked the tandem, while Daniel was on his road bike. You might imagine that they'd be a little subdued after two and half hours of relatively vigourous pedalling. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.
So at the back end of July, my work chums and I did a charity cycle ride from North London to Cambridge. According to our page on Just Giving we gathered over £1300 quid in sponsorship, which I reckon is pretty good going. Yay. Go us.
I can't really pretend I enjoyed the ride itself overly much, at least not the first part. The route itself was pleasant enough and, as you'd expect, not particularly bumpy. It was fully guided, so every junction had not only a sign pointing the way but also a marshall in a yellow top pointing the way too. Apart from the very start getting out of London and the last section coming in Cambridge, there was next to no vehicle traffic. What there was, though, and what spoiled it for me was the bleeding cyclists all over the place. We had to wear numbers, and if they can be believed there were 3000+ on the ride. Parts of route, particularly near the start, were actively dangerous due to the number of really bad cyclists cluttering up the place. Lots of those people riding clearly didn't go near a bike from one year to the next, unable to hold a straight line, maneouvering without looking, slowing abruptly, and so on. Not that the stupidity was confined to the inexperienced - there were few club cyclists who really should have known better too. Anyway, I can't speak for the others, but I found it difficult to relax and just ride, which was a shame.
We did the ride in about 4 hours (3½ hours moving) which was pretty fair, and then went to the pub for lunch. That was super.
There are mutterings about doing another charity ride from Oxford to Cambridge in October. Hopefully the chillier weather and longer distance will keep the field down.
Weather forecast isn't fantastic but no matter, Harry and I are off to ride the National Forest 50km audax on the tandem tomorrow.
Did a bit of light fettling on the tandem last night - cycle computer, bottle cages, bar bag, rear tyre on the right way round (oopsy) - and we're all set. We've not done this distance together before, and I am mindful that for all his power and energy Harry is still only six. He had no trouble doing 30km over some quite exciting hills last week though. The route tomorrow looks to be as flat as pancake, so as long as we just keep the pedals (easier since we fitted some decent ones) turning we'll be fine. Minimum Audax pace over 50km is only something like 12km/h, so we can probably stop for a snooze in the middle and still be well inside the time.
... "Well inside the time" ... even after several kilometres of going deliberately slow we had to stop for five minutes so we weren't early at the control. Harry had been complaining for a while ("when is the tea stop? when is the tea stop?") but it turned out he just needed a wee and chocolate chip cookie.
After a respectable interval of 25 minutes or so, we hopped back on. We fairly tore back. There were two info controls on the return leg, where you have to stop and write down some piece of information, and we didn't rush to get those done, but when we were moving we really moved. It was actually pretty amazing - on the flat we were comfortably winding up to 40km/h (about 25mph). That's not an outrageous speed for a road bike, but it can feel like hard work. At least it does for me :) On a chunky tandem with fat tyres, more or less into a headwind, being stoked, remember, by a six year old, it felt like we had plenty more to give. It was fab! Tandems are fab! I don't know why everyone isn't riding one!
Anyway, National Forest 50km is a lovely little ride. We did 53km at a moving average of 23.1km/h (17.6km/h including stop) and a max speed of 63.8lm/h. And, oh yea, we were first back :)
Congrats to you both.
So we went on holiday. It was great. Every night I watched the weather forecast and every night it was well it's raining everywhere, except this little bit of Wales where Natalie and Jez and their kids are on holiday. Natalie and the kids went surfing, which they all thought was pretty fantastic. I took the kids on a bike ride over the hill and back.
I told Harry it was training for the 50km audax we're doing on Saturday, and he stoked away on the back of the tandem like a good'un.
Then we got home. Top tip: Never go on holiday while your courgettes are still fruiting. If you thought this
was a lot of courgettes, then you've clearly lived a very sheltered life. There are so many courgettes, I'm afraid to put them together for a new photograph in case they start to collapse under the force of their own gravity, forming a terrifying vegetable black hole. (Although that would be one way to deal with them, I suppose.)
|<< July 2010||September 2010 >>|