Ride out with the newcomers….

So back to basics, today. A ride out with the Woking CC newcomers. !!

Woking CC runs a introduction ride for people who are just starting out. Turn up on whatever machine you have and we do a very gentle ride out around the local lanes with the usual coffee and cake. My plan was to “help out” and do my usual back marker role of helping if anyone has a problem. My actual plan was to see if I can hang on and get round. Was great to meet up with Julian (who was leading the ride) and was good to get out and cycle in a group after my last solo efforts.

I think I managed to hide the fact I was blowing up the hills and had legs like lead for most of it.

35KM at a very gentle pace. – slowly slowly catchee monkey.

Velo et Gateaux

Velo et Gateaux

First ride out… ouch !

I spent the weekend giving the bike a once over. Brakes / Gears / Chain all got an overhaul. Gave it a good clean and sprayed everything that moved with oil. Thought about spraying my legs to see if that would speed them up but its a bit of a pain to get off and it makes the hair on my legs a bit greasy. It was a typical grey February but it wasn’t raining and not much wind so the first chance to get out. The plan was to keep it nice and local (just in case the bike gets a fault) So off I set with enough layers on I must have taken up the whole road with the width of me.

Well after 2 km I was shouting “shut up legs” and fighting the urge to chuck the bike in a ditch and take up a proper sport like “darts” or “chess”.  Still I limped on and tried a local hill. Lets just say I didn’t bust any Strava records !!! and was probably the most painful thing I had done since stuffing myself with mince pies on Christmas day.

A pitiful 23 KM which felt harder than last years Ridelondon’s 160km OUCH !!

Normal Service has been resumed.

Well its 2015 and whats been going on I hear you ask.. Yes I am still on the bike, a year older and balder and fatter. In February the magazine arrives on the doorstep. telling me I have a place in the 2015 Ridelondon ballot. Oh deep joy, another painful year of getting my legs ready for the big one. The adventure starts here again – and it feels like I am starting from scratch.

Oh no... I got in again.

Got in again !!! better dust off the bike

Scotty Rode London 2014

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=an18z1EJxmE width=”320″ height=”180″]

Well what a ride that was !!! (in more ways than one) The initial excitement before the event was rapidly turning into dread. A certain ex-hurricane Bertha was heading towards the UK and after 2 months of gorgeous weather was threatening to turn very nasty. The big question me and 20,000 other entrants wanted to know was WHEN ! and WHERE. As the days ticked down, it was starting to look pretty obvious, it was going to strike smack bang into the Prudential Ridelondon 100 course at about 7:27am Sunday precisely (my start time). I went up to town on the Saturday and spent a fantastic day at the Freecycle event. The sun was out, everyone was out on their bikes taking advantage of the 10 miles of closed roads in the city. I did a few gentle laps and at the back of my mind I thought, they must have got this weather forecast wrong. I had an evening meal and spent the rest of the evening glued to the weather forecast. Next morning it looked rather grey out the window. I made my way to the start and it wasn’t raining, not too cold, they got it wrong, and it was going to be perfect.

We heard the course had got shortened at the start no Leith / Box hills (bit odd, as it wasn’t raining). I rolled out the start and once again took in the atmosphere you can only get from cycling on closed roads (amazing). There was some light drizzle as I came through central London, which turned into light rain by the time I got to Kingston. As I came through Byfeet, the heavens opened. I can only describe it as biblical, the road disappeared as the drains overflowed turning the route into a river. Riders were all over the place, potholes and road debris were all now hidden under the water and it took all your concentration to stay upright. I saw quite a few nasty crashes. The middle section of the ride had turned into a long wet slog, banging my head against the wind and rain. You couldn’t sit behind anyone close enough to get some help as all you got was a face full of spray and a 50/50 chance of getting taken down when the rider in front of you crashed (better to ride solo and stay safe).

By the time I made the turn at the bottom of the course and headed back towards London, the rain had eased and eventually the sun poked out between the clouds. The last 6 miles was what RideLondon should be; Sun, Closed Roads, fantastic landmarks and scenery. The first 80 miles well… the video tells that story.

I would like to dedicate this ride to Kris Cook who sadly passed away on the Newlands corner climb.