Yesterday was the annual London to Southend bike ride. I did this ride last year with some of the members of Romford CC and went back again this year for another club event.
I was prepared with my new bike bag to sit on my frame which I could ride with opened so I had easy access to some food as I cycled. I am useless on this front and often finish a ride and realise I haven’t eaten anything so this was a handy hint from my friend Sophie to put the snacks in a zip lock bag open in the bag and take one out every now and then – worked a treat!
It starts in Victoria Park in London and heads down to Priory Park in Southend. At 7.30/8am there was quite a crowd of us with Romford CC and Hornchurch CC combining for this ride.
As we set off it was wet and there were 7 punctures before we had departed Victoria Park! But we were all still in good spirits and ready for the ride!
The weird yellow thing you see in my nose is new. Not a new nose ring I must add but something to help with breathing so I figured I would give it a go. Made by a company called Turbine it is sports breathing technology and is supposed to control nasal breathing. Hey if it’s good enough for Froome who am I to judge? When I breathed through my nose it was miles better – problem is I am a mouth breather on the bike and when running so will need to work on this but in the meantime will know what I will look like should I decide to have my septum pierced.
The weather picked up as the ride went on and most of us now have the obligatory cycling tan lines!
Getting out of London we hit pretty much every red light and groups got split pretty quickly – almost impossible to keep so many people together. I ended up riding for over 10 miles on my own having got caught at a red light and then being stuck behind a car. I managed to catch up three other guys in our club and carried on the ride with Mark, Jamie and Darren. The route actually takes in some of our club route so that is quite nice being on such familiar roads.
It is a busy ride and getting split up happens so easily and soon enough there were just two of us – me and the mighty Mr Wessels. We had a good ride and had a good old natter as we went! Thoroughly enjoyable ride and company!
As you come to the finish line you go through a gate to the park up a little ramp over the kerb (very technical) and down a little windy path (careful of the big tree route) to the finish tent to where my hubby was waiting.
The speedy ones form the club were already there and over the next hour or so our group got larger and larger as people came in combining our cycle club Romford CC with Hornchurch CC and also Havering Tri – lovely to have everyone together in the park!
The after gathering at such events is always as much fun as the event itself – who can complain with a celebratory beer in the park courtesy of the lovely wives of some of the club members! Such a lovely club to be part of!
Only downside was the signage on the ride was more than shoddy in some places and we got lost at one point and others got lost in other points – so easily done with lack of signs on the course. Having said that I will be back to do it again next year for sure.
I did say a couple of well done’s in the title of this blog and they are as follows:
- to my lovely hubby, Darren and Andy for all completing the Great Newham Swim on Saturday
- to my brother and his girlfriend Emma for also completing London to Southend having never done a bike event before
- to a lovely lady who reads my blog called Jenny who completed her first running event yesterday and a 10k at that!
So I woke up this morning and put my right foot down as I skulked out of bed and ouch – shooting pain so today there will be no run and hopefully tomorrow will be all good. On the plus side though I lost another pound bringing the total to 52lbs and counting so the plaque can once again be changed (my favourite part of the week)!