Last Sunday was the day of the British Heart Foundation London-Southend ride. I got up ridiculously early (4am) in order to scoff some porridge and get ready. I met up with Geoff at 5am, both of us wondering why we were doing this!
The journey into London was quite nice really, the roads were practically empty and we arrived just after 8, my Garmin showing I'd done around 78km. Not a bad time considering we were taking it easy!
After a quick rest, I left Geoff with his wife Lisa (who had taken the train up) and set off on the journey back. I was feeling OK, but as per usual I set off far too quickly - I was taking it in turns with a man in a Garmin team jersey to pull on the front, but I had to stop at the first food stop for a break!
I did my best to eat and drink properly on the way back, as I think that has led to me 'bonking' on previous rides. Having done the route in reverse, I knew just how much further I had to go, and as we hit the roads I knew well I was feeling relatively good. At around the 100 mile mark came the route split - I opted for the long route to add a few more miles.
I got talking to someone else on the long route and we took in turns pulling, but by the time I hit the seafront, with just a few miles left, I had nothing left and had to drop back. Those last few miles were horrible, especially up a hill which I have the Strava KoM for - I may well have the fastest and the slowest times up there now!
I managed to find one last bit of energy and the last mile wasn't so bad, and I crossed the finish line having taken 7 and a half hours (including stops) to do just under 114 miles. I needed to lie down for a while afterwards! The kids were at the finish line waiting which was nice to see, they liked my medal!
My legs are still aching (although I have cycled another 100km this week) but I'm pleased with how most of the ride went - it's my new longest ride! I've also raised £120 so far for the BHF which is very pleasing.