Daren W
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My London Bikeathon - a rookie's view by Dave Hatch

Daren W
Posted by
02 Sep 2014

A very new experience for Dave 'the rookie' in the ride of his life.


It's Saturday the 30th of august and the bike is neatly packed in the back of the car ready for the morning. My thoughts dwell on the 4 hills that face me the next day. I don't sleep well. It's gonna hurt, that's all I can think about.
At 6 am the following morning, James Mason arrives and we pack his bike in the car. We make our way to Welling to pick up my ringer, Michael Briggs. James tries to take a car selfie at the most awkward time as we go round a roundabout. As we get closer to the meeting point I feel sicker and sicker. I'm never gonna climb those hills, I'm gonna slow the team down. Don't wait for me, just go.

We finally arrive at Ham House and the nerves get worse. The team are there and it's not long before the banter starts. This totally puts my mind at ease. Some of the team have the same fears as I do.
We set off at 8.25ish and soon Trevor and Mike are gone. It's a nice gentle pace out of London. The sun is shining and the roads are quiet. This is lovely.
20 miles or so in, the first hill. I struggle uphill. I'm battling mind, body and gravity. I see a cluster of yellow and there are my teammates. Such a welcome sight. I ask was that box hill? No! NO!? I say! It's round the corner. Damn. With rule 5 in my head I  crack on. At the top of Box Hill I say is that it? Two hills defeated. Let's roll on.
The rest of the ride is hard but great.  Only one hill defeated me that day, the one at 80 miles. No shame in that. However the last 20 miles proved to be eventful. Two punctures and a lost wallet meant we were on our own as we had gone past 6pm. LLR Team Essex are unstoppable and with Tom up front with the gps we rolled home at what felt like a nice 17mph average.
This event was the single hardest thing I've ever done. I battled my demons, lazy mind and body and won. I completed 100 miles. The hills were hard, the descents were fast, the views were beautiful but the best sight in the world was seeing Clare, my wife, at the finish. 
I did it, I beat me and with the added bonus of raising awareness and money for a great cause. I have an overwhelming sense of achievement and emotion whilst feeling humbled at the same time.
I hope it lasts.

Dave 'the rookie' hatch