Monday, 18 June 2012

100 km round london at night!

I did complete last week's challenge with 102 miles But I started this week with a biggie, this weekend i cycled 74 miles! On Saturday night my son had worked out the route and was the event leader and i was the participant! we cycled 100 kn round London overnight. Two days later and I am still quite tired, I think that is the effect of doing it at night as my legs etc feel fine and not aching at all. I managed to cycle 5 miles back to Marylebone after 5 hours sleep with no difficulty. All of this is amazing for me and I still feel its a bit like a dream! There are some substantial hills in London and they all seem to be close together! We had a climb over Streatham Common and then on up to Crystal Palace, which was our southern most point. Then it was fairly downhill or flat to the Cutty Sark, which looks great lit up, easy riding round to Tower Bridge, through the city and out to Canary Wharf. Docklands is a weird place, sort of bright and shiny and unreal somehow! There a strong wind that hit us in this area, which the buildings sometimes sheltered us from and sometimes seemed to tunnel the full force straight at us!! We saw quite a lot of urban foxes, mainly in the very built up areas, one even in the underpass to Canary wharf!! We continued on through Hackney and Dalston, which had quite a selection of fruit and veg shops open at 3am! Do late night clubbers do their shopping on the way home? through Highbury and on to the next batch of hills, definitely the hardest, mainly because I was so tired by then! we got up tp Alexandra Palace about 3:30am, this is a long slow climb and I made with a couple of stops on the way, then a quick whizz down to the bottom to traffic lights and a right turn straight back up Muswell Hill. This I'm afraid defeated me, I managed about half way then walked the rest, I was now feeling tiredness more than anything, and I had an annoying tickly cough caused I think by the Plane Tree spores. We were now heading in to Hampstead and around The Heath, we stopped at traffic lights with 2 downhill roads and one ahead going straight up to Spaniards Lane and my son saw how tired I asked him if that was our direction! Past the Heath and then left downhill all the way to Camden Town! It was now around 4am and the sun was coming up, the sky was a lovely purpley colour. Dawn is not something I have seen very often in my lifetime!! Onwards round Regents park and up Euston road, turning down Russells square and going down to the river, viewing the land marks south of the river that we had cycled past a few hours earlier! We got to Big Ben as it chimed 4:30am. Up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square and it is daylight now, The Mall was shut so along Pall Mall, up St James' and past the Ritz on Picadilly. We crossed Hyde park corner and Will offered me a choice, we had done 90km and we could go straight home but if we wanted to make it 100km we had to do a loop around Hyde park. I bravely said 100km is what we set out to do, so let's get round that park. It was quite eerie cycling round a park totally on our own in broad daylight! then it down Old Brompton Road and home to Fulham finishing at 5:25am and just as the GPS clicked to dead on 100 km!! Will's wonderful girlfriend had made up my bed and I fell straight in and slept for 5 hours! then back on the bike after a delicious bacon buttie! I cycled back through Hyde Park in the sunshine but this time crowded with people!! It was definitely early to bed and i was snoring by 9pm and didn't stir till this morning1

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