Paul C
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Challenge 3: London Bikeathon Completed!!!

Paul C
Posted by
28 Sep 2014

52 Miles around London in 5.5 hours

What a brilliant day! An early start on Sunday 31st August with me and a few thousand others embarking on the London Bikeathon. I chose the middle route which was 52 miles. Sunday mornings in the City of London are great as the roads are quiet and we set off in waves of around 100 riders. The roads weren't closed so we were held up at traffic lights throughout the day. 

I was grateful for support outside St Paul's from Becky and Helen (it really does make a difference) and headed out to Canary Wharf and Isle of Dogs. All quite easy, still in bunches of riders and set in a good rhythm. Back into The City past the Tower of London and seeing the poppy memorial was very moving. Heading out West, the roads got busier and riders sgtarted stringing out. Soon I was basically cycling on my own. I found this stretch more tricky because I was out on my own and it has to be said, Barnes, Mortlake and Fulham were a bit dull. 

Richmond Park was a good mental milestone to reach and feeling quite low I was massively lifted to be met by my brother in law Malcolm who had cycled over from work to support me. He lives in that area and cycles every day to work. This showed. We just started to go up Star and Garter hill, the only real climb of the whole day when all the muscles in my legs just cramped up. My treatment results in me getting bad leg cramps on a daily basis and I guess a steady flat ride for 3.5 hours got my legs settled into a position they weren't that keen on changing. Still, I was soon at the top and then free-wheeled through Richmond back towards London.

Malcolm left me at Hammersmith and I was sorry to see him go, however the ride back through Chelsea and then onto Westminster meant the finish was in sight. A few more cramp episodes slowed me down but it wasn't lomg before I was turning into Blackfriars for the final straight to the finish. What a welcome I received there! Brilliant day and I got another medal to add to my collection of one!

It was a great experience to see parts of the city I adore, that I would never normally see and it was a very useful first proper bike ride. It was a learning session for one of next year's challenges which is cycling the coast too coast route from Sunderland to Barrow in Furness. A good ttrial for me and my bike.



Hugely well done, Paul!

It was a tough ride but a great day and it was so good to see you at the end. I've got our picture somewhere and will add that to the blog post.

Hope you're well and hugely well done on completing the Mortimer 10k too!