Back in July I attempted to channel the spirit of Bradley Wiggins and cycle from London to Brighton. Our buddy Tim Spain is doing a load of charitable shit for the RNIB over the year and offered to guide a select few of us down to the coast in exchange for a tenner for charidee. It was hard to ignore such an act of do-gooding generosity so I signed up and spent the week getting my shit together – borrowing a bike with working gears, washing the cycling pants to protect the precious ring piece and not getting totally shit faced the night before (five pints natch) all fed into the extensive prep.
When I made it to Clapham just in time for the 8am kick off brandishing a Mcdonald’s I was confronted by loads of pros in lycra. Despite Tim’s assertions that anyone could do this and it wasn’t a race, it was clear that some folk were taking this seriously. Within five minutes one dude had already tutted at my set of (admittedly overly small) wheels and offered to put my seat up when I came to him with me ‘knees screaming’ (his words). Back off bro!
We set off with his scornful words ringing in the ears before we conversed again – ‘Do you do these sort of long rides often?’ was the question. ‘I don’t want to brag, but for me, this isn’t really a long ride,’ he bragged. Wow.
The ride itself was a hot and sweaty affair with plenty of hills to drag ourselves up. The Mcdonalds definitely helped and at one point we went perilously close to Gatwick Airport before a brief stop for a shandy. The real killer was the Beacon, a fucking humongous mountain near the end of the 60 mile ride. It’s well fucking steep and many a cyclist apparently prides themselves on getting all the way up it without dismounting the steed. I couldn’t care less and jumped off after ten metres of incline. Whatevs Beacon! It’s only a bike ride!
The cruise into Brighton which followed was fairly luxurious as were the six pints we had on arrival at the coast, the four cans on the train and the three more cans at home. Nice one team.
|View from the cockpit|
|Wheels + Mcdonalds sausage, egg and cheese bagel just in view|
|Back of the queue|
|View from the Beacon|