Daren W
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My London Bikeathon 100 by Daren White

Daren W
Posted by
01 Sep 2014

We're all doing our own blogs for this one when we have the energy back.

My London Bikeathon 100 – Daren White

Well, what can I say? It’s the day after the big day and I’m still on one piece.

A truly momentous day with some great people around me and a superb feeling of achievement at the finish. Let me share some highlights:

Myself, Lee, James B, Paul & Keiran took advantage of the Marriott at Twickenham for an overnight stay and a very tasty burger prior to the big day. Having been reliably informed by experts of carb content, Lee and I also partook of a pint of Guiness, purely for athletic purposes.

We were early to bed and early to rise and 5:45 came round very quickly. Quick prep, a strong coffee and the necessary oblutions out of the way, we loaded the car up with the bikes and headed for the start, via McDonalds in Richmond. Never before have they seen so many hash browns ordered by one person and Keiran was the last to get back in the car to head for the start.

We headed to the meeting point to find some of the team already there and collected our Box Hill timing chips. Then it was a case of last minute preparations, some Mason selfies and ready for the off in about the 4th or 5th group of 50 starters.

It took a good 5 miles to get everyone together thanks to junctions, traffic lights and more but once there we were enjoying the flatness of London (for now). We headed out of the capital and got chatting to others around us about what had brought them to the event. There were too many to mention but it was very motivating to say the least.

At 26 miles we knew Box Hill was approaching and the Torq gels were the order of the day. We hit Box as a team but had already said that on the hills, everyone would take them at a pace they themselves were happy with. James B and Keiran had ridden Box before and with Trevor probably already close to the finish by this time, we were mostly unsure of what to expect. All I knew was to check off 3 hairpins in my mind and that’s what I did. Keiran led off and James M and I rode up pretty much side by side taking in the views and looking down as we rounded each hairpin to arrive at the Café for a much needed water refill and toilet break. We filled our bottles, took on some jelly beans and readied again for the off as a team. Not 100 yards further down, imagine our surprise to find a desertd LLR refreshment stand asking “Where is everyone?”

A quick photo opportunity at the peak and on we went through the Surrey Hills.
As people tired around the 50 miles mark, new territory for some, I dropped back with Paul to ride with Dave who was finding the pace hard to match on the hills. So we covered about 10 miles together before we met Keiran who had also held back. So as a group of 4 we carried on, using each other to pull us through and making sure we took on plenty of fuel. Not enough to stop the cramps for Paul at about 60 miles, but that wasn’t stopping us.

We met the lead group at a filling station at about 70 miles and headed off again as one, post sausage roll, towards what we knew would be the last big hill and hopefully our last big challenge. Up Coombe Lane we headed, and up, and up. With Kieran in front I was matching him all the way. He took on the apex of the hairpin (which hits 35%) whilst I , with legs burning, went to widen the curve. Neither of us succeeded as Keiran’s gears jumped costing him all momentum and changing direction an gear lost mine too. So I clipped out & took a short blow to summon the strength to continue. Back on the bike and up I rode to the summit.

We met at the peak to set off again as a team knowing it was all downhill from here UNTIL 2 punctures, missing signs and Lee’s lost wallet threw spanners in the works. A phonecall to event control & a helpful motorbike outrider helped us keep track of Lee who had turned back to see if he could find his wallet so we waited to join up again as a team. Lee rejoined us having done 4 extra miles and still sans wallet and we headed towards Ham House via a mixture of signs and sat nav to roll into the car park after 71/2 hours of riding. I couldn’t resist a sprint finish but had forgotten how bumpy the road surface was and that may explain some of the aches today.

Medal collected, hand shakes and hugs all round we downed weirdest energy drink I’ve ever seen which might not taste as good as it day yesterday, everyday.
A few more photos and congratulations from Trevor, Angela, Michael, Clare, Emma, Laura and the kids at the finish topped of a great day and one I will remember forever.

Finally, a massive thanks to all at LLR for making this possible. 

I covered 101 miles, as a team we covered over 1000 miles and we all got one step closer to beating blood cancer for ever!!

I’m off out for a ride now. Laters.

Comments

Ellie Dawes
03.09.2014

Loving this photo Daren, so cool!

Really enjoyed reading all your post-London Bikeathon blogs. Glad you all had a great day, thank you all so much, as always, for your amazing support.

03.09.2014

lol thanks Ellie. I like to think of it as a sign with those rays shining down from above. It was a great day and reading all the other blogs keeps bringing a tear to my eye. So humbling working with such wonderful people in the LLR family

Anonymous
03.09.2014

Did the 52 in a good time for me in a little under 4hrs , the route was a lot safer this year thank god , I think quite a few riders missed the first water point so it was over 30 miles before most of us could take on water , about a mile in a man from Rome tapped me on the shoulder and in broken English asked if he could follow me . We managed to stay together right to the end . Fantastic to see parts of this great city in glorious London sunshine