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Journal

THE JOY OF NO EXPECTATIONS.

10,000km.cc

The best journeys are often the ones you don't plan for.

Many months ago, Saul and I signed ourselves up to the London Revolution for the second year in a row. We'd taken part in 2015 and had enjoyed a fantastic weekend of roads, food and weather as we took on the two-day course that snakes around the perimeter of London. Entry paid and with months between us and the event itself, it was stored somewhere towards the back of our minds to creep closer. 

A day out from the event, things changed. With less than 24 hours to go until we were due to convene under an inflatable start line, our two-man group more than doubled. Three of the collective had found themselves at a loose end and were able to track down incredibly last minute entry, taking our weekend contingent to five.

Sleeping bags were sourced and last minute ride snacks were bought as one message frenetically clamoured over another, and another, with everyone trying to ensure they hadn't forgotten anything essential in their haste. 

A sweep past Dalston Junction station at 06.15 allowed five lone riders to become a group that would become inseparable until Sunday evening and, as quickly as the decision had been made to ride together, we were on the following the black-on-yellow route signs over Tower Bridge and out into Kent.

The route, atmosphere and event were undeniably fantastic. Its ethos rings all too true with our own: the 250km, two-day route is not a race, it's a ride. The emphasis is therefore not on completing the course as quickly as possible, but to allow a vast and eclectic mix of people the opportunity to ride far and to ride together.

The rest stops are created not as a smash and grab affair, but to encourage riders to stop, enjoy and indulge in the company, the journey and, of course, the plethora of snacks on offer.

The seamless organisation of every face of the weekend leaves you with nothing to do but to focus on pedalling through the well-planned lanes. 

All no doubt played their part in the revelry we enjoyed out on the sunlit roads and the lucid, heat- and fatigue-induced conversations that took place over beers under the fluorescent strip lighting of the Ascot Racecourse bar. 

But most of the enjoyment stemmed from the unplanned nature of everything we experienced.

We'd had no time to create and develop expectations. There had been little opportunity for conjecture. No moment to think. There was something wonderfully serendipitous about the entire weekend. Everything just seemed to align: we were all available, as were tickets; the sun was out; our bikes behaved from beginning to end. The minutes and hours simply happened, time unfurling before us like the Greater London roads we rolled across. 

Like I say, those are the best kind of rides.

-- RF.