Date: Sunday 29th March, 2015
Distance: 76km | Elevation: 1,028m
Destinations: New Cross — Shoreham — New Cross
Start kms: 1,808.1km | Finish kms: 1885.1km | % complete: 18.9%
Some days it’s a joy to be in the saddle. Some days you just need to get out and get it done.
Today was one of the latter.
A 1am finish on a Saturday night spent tasting champagne (and an obligatory wee dram). The clocks going forward, brazenly stealing an hour of sleep from me. Heavy rain overnight and predicted to continue throughout the day. Winds upwards of 20mph.
Nothing on that list was particularly motivating as I found myself awake at 7.30am, but I was in a JFDI mindset and set about getting my essentials together, waterproofing myself as best I could and getting out into Kent.
Hendo had sent his much-travelled route on to me as a solid south-east ride appropriate to fill part of a morning and it was great.
A loop out towards Orpington that quickly gets you onto some quiet and secluded roads, eventually bringing you back in via Lewisham again.
The wind and rain were relentless, but circumstances such as these do an excellent job in showing how having the right kit to hand (some overshoes and a robust waterproof shell) do well to absorb the worst of the elements, removing much of the sting in their tails.
There were a few surreptitious hills thrown into the mix, with one particular beast that proved a double-edged sword. As I crawled my way up it – at some points below 10kph – I was also benefitting from a brief break from a strong wind. I smiled to myself as I tried to figure out what you call something that is both an ongoing struggle, but also acts as a rest.
Answers on a postcard please.
Circling back round, the rain eventually staved off for half an hour, allowing me enough time to dry off a little before arriving back home.
Having had no breakfast and taken only water with me, I was pleased to have got that far without running out of steam and bonking.
I think I need to get a little more of those sorts of rides under my belt in the coming months.