It was inevitable. We planned a Friday night to sort the final route, shopping list, logistics, etc. Jacko was cooking but was ‘not dating drinking with a date’ first.
It was inevitable that Rich and I would sink one too many pint and then stumble our way back to Jacko’s flat. This was, of course via the shop to buy more beer to go with Jacko’s fajitas.
Hours later, beers finished, we had reached that inevitable moment where planning completion had not been achieved, but it was time to head home.
Waking up the next morning, trying to remember the plan for the day, I made my way to Buckingham Palace, safe in the knowledge that we’re now cycling machines and could easily handle an 85 mile flat day.
The destination was Windsor Castle, following the Palace to, erm, Palace (Castle?) ride.
To sum up the ride; not much happened, there were lots of main roads, and flat wasn’t particularly flat. The undulating landscape really hammering the legs, coupled with the previously mentioned too many beers and a distinct lack of nutrition made this one a bit of a slog - it definitely felt like a training ride. The start was next to an incredible building, the end was next to an incredible building. There were some roads and a bit of a river in between, with some countryside too. Maybe I’m becoming a bit blase now that we’ve done this amount of training in and around the South East! We did stop for what we thought was a well deserved coffee at 30 miles, to meet a few lads who has already done 80 miles by midday.
Yep, we’re not quite the heroes that we thought we were.
The end of the ride was greeted with a well earned food and beer stop at the Battersea Power Station version of Street Feast. An incredible back-drop to some decent grub on a lovely evening (another incredible building - three in one day!).
A summary of the planning; I ended up getting lots of boxes of miscellaneous food and cycling equipment delivered to my house, so it seems that we did manage to sort some things, although possibly not the right things.
I think that we’ve all reached the stage now where we just want to get on with LEJOG, to start the challenge, enjoy a bit of time away from the office and the great company of the other chaps.
It’s not just the fact that we are about as ready as we’ll ever be, but I think we’ve felt that way for a few weeks now and are trying to hold onto the fitness! The next few weekends are booked up with other life stuff (it gets a look in occasionally!) and, for me, it’s getting especially difficult to train in the week - spending more time in Hamburg where I don’t have a bike and there’s too much German beer to drink… I’ve started to think more about the stretching and flexibility that will help to get us through the ride, so that routine has started, although I suspect it might be about 5 months too late, given the amount of creaking from my muscles when I stretch!
This was the last of our rides together before the start of our epic journey. It marked the end of a good tour of the South East of England that demonstrated a steady improvement in fitness and ability from all sides, built a sound knowledge of train lines in and out of London, and highlighted the skill and management talents that Rich and I to be able to hold onto our relationships.
I think we’re ready.