In the village next to us there is a milestone that shows ‘Hyde Park Corner 97 miles’. For several years keen cyclists of the village have organised a ride going the ‘wrong way’ from Hyde Park back to the village.
To try and tempt more people, and especially families, to join in this year they organised a 19 mile loop starting and finishing at the village pub. The idea being to ride 5 loops (and a bit) for the full distance, or any number of loops for your own personal challenge.
Whilst my husband is a very keen cyclist, who no longer finds 100 mile rides a challenge, it’s a different story for myself and our son.
Our longest ride to date has been 25 miles which included a fantastic lunch stop. Son was happy he could manage one lap, and I was hoping if we had a good lunch he could be tempted out for a second.
Our first lap was mostly uneventful. Son managed to ride into the edge of a high verge, legs flailing as he trimmed the long grass and filled his bike with it. Miraculously he stayed upright. A little further down the road I wasn’t so lucky, managing a huge wobble as I tried to tuck in when another cyclist overtook us. Fortunately it was a grassy verge I fell onto, so it was mainly just my pride that was hurt.
As we reached the end of the loop our thoughts were turning to chips and coke, and the pub did not disappoint. We even found a friend of son’s who was happy to ride another loop with us and his Dad.This second loop was slower, but without any cyclist-verge incidents. However it seemed to pass quicker, I guess because we knew the route by now. As we arrived back at the pub, we were announced by one of the organisers and received a round of applause.
A swift half, and then we pedalled the final 2 and a bit miles home. In total the boy and I had cycled 42 miles on a beautifully warm and sunny Sunday. My legs didn’t feel too bad, but my neck and shoulders (and just to lower the tone, my backside) might not be speaking to me later on.
Still – forty two miles!