The London Bikeathon was suggested to me by my good mate John Lonsdale, who will also thankfully be joining me on the 25 counties ride. Essentially it was a 52 mile charity ride from East to West London and back, and even better, for a good cause – Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which as you will hopefully realise is the reason I am doing all this.
After a bad start to the day when our bikes weren’t allowed on a near-empty Docklands Light Railway (the conductor actually said he couldn’t let the bikes on because “it’s more than my job’s worth”) we got to the start line in Thames Barrier Park to be greeted by hundreds of fellow cyclists, mostly wearing the Beat Blood Cancer T shirts, and then we were off.
The ride itself was slow (largely because of lots of cyclists and the usual traffic lights) but took us through some great bits of London, mixing the scenic with some places I’d never been before. But what was best was seeing all the different shapes & sizes of cyclists taking part, all for the same good cause.
It was great to get back to the Thames Barrier about 4 hours after we began, then we had another 8-9 miles home. So all in all, a cruisey 70 mile or so day, and I felt fine after it (surprisingly John was struggling a bit; it’s usually the other way round). Having said that, my commute to work today was hard.
The main thing I got out of it though was confidence – confidence that I can ride those sorts of distances fairly comfortably; and confidence that beating blood cancer is a cause well worth supporting, and well worth riding nearly 600 miles in a week for.