On the 4th of September 2009 I made my way to Hyde Park Corner London for the Midnight Start time where I met up with about another 70 riders from Cycle chat, YACF forums and a few CTC members. Our destination was Whitstable Kent about a 69 mile ride.
We set off making our way past Buckingham Palace down Birdcage Walk onto Parliament Square and out onto the embankment crossing the Thames via London Bridge. We made our way along South of the river up to Woolwich and then onto Dartford, Crayford and past Bluewater. We then passed through Gravesend (which looked so much better in the dark lol).
We continued on until we reached Rochester at about 4am for a bacon buttie and a coffee at Andys Cafe which was much needed after a few hours riding. The Medway looked lovely at this time of night.
We set off again and made our way through Upchurch,Sittingbourne and onto Faversham where we passed the Shepherd Neame Brewery. This will need another trip sometime for a visit when its open.By this time it was dawn and a beautiful sunrise was seen over the Kent countyside.
We passed by loads of orchards and saw hops being picked and harvested. We then stopped briefly at a stone church in Faversham for us all to re-group.
From here we were told it's only 6 miles onto Whitstable and everyone made their way at variable speeds. We passed through Seasalter which bought back loads of memories from my childhood going past The blue Anchor caravan site which has sadly now closed, ontp Joy Lane and left and a downhill stretch into Whitstable for Breakfast at The Waterside Cafe.
After a time we left passing back through Whitstable High Street and onto the station home.
I had trouble staying awake on the train as I had been up for 32 hours and had a total of 87 miles for the day. My best yet.
More photos click here...........
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Anway we waited a short while to get through the Start and on our way............
We set off through London, I didn't recognize anything as I'm not familiar with this side of the river. However the roads were quite packed as the ride hadn't had a chance to thin out yet.
We rode along and had a few stops to refill out water bottles and to see to calls of nature. At almost all the hills required having to queue to get up the hill and had to walk the bike up which was rather disappointing.
How many hard hills, I'd say just two that I can remember ...Turners Hill....not too bad but not a breeze either...was going to have a rest at the top but again the place was heaving and we decided to carry on to the next pit stop where it was quieter....and of course Ditchling Beacon I only managed about half way up before giving in, but Dave managed it all the way to the top...Well Done!! :)
From the top of the Beacon was a quick downhill into Brighton I managed about 29 MPH down the beacon. We rode along Maderia Drive to the finish line and to collect our medals and meet our family and friends there to meet us. It was a great achievement and all for a worth while cause.
We spent a while in Brighton having fish and chips and a much needed beer or two.
Thanks to everyone's sponsors and support and a special thank you to dace wifes for the ferrying us to and from......
View from top of Ditchling Beacon
The only bad points to mention were the over subscribed ride (27,000) which meant having to queue for the hills that was a grind and a few peoples level of riding, I saw a few accidents where people had stopped suddenly on a downhill stretch with high speed cyclists coming up from behind ..ouch!! These were only a minor points to a very memorable and pleasant day.
We were then taken home , very happy but knackered.