Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Small Wheels Big Difference' on my Raw SL2 Brompton

'Small Wheels Big Difference' consist of three friends who in June will embark on a charity bike ride (on Brompton Bikes) from Lands End to John O'Groats. It is going to be tough going but they hope to raise as much as possible for three charities. Hospice in the Weald, Help for Heros and Great Ormond Street Hospital. It is a noble undertaking to say the least and they certainly have my support.

Before their mammoth cycle in June they quite sensibly are going on number of training runs. Yesterday I joined the 'Small Wheels Big Difference' chaps for a training run from Kings Cross to Tonbridge - well almost.

Before I set out I had a big decision to make. Would I take my beloved Orange ML6 which is more suited to the 38ish miles from Kings Cross to Tonbridge or take my new addition the Raw Lacquer SL2? I decided to take the SL2. I chose the SL2 as it is lighter and much nippier than my ML6. I was worried though about the lower riding position over such a large distance as I headed off to Kings Cross.

Arriving in good time I stocked up on some sweets - fuel for the trip and met up with the Small Wheels chaps and a few other friends. After some group photos and final checks we headed off.

The Small Wheels crew meant business and set off at a fair pace. This was to continue for the whole trip. Preconceived visions of having the time to take pictures on route were soon abandoned. We headed south past the Houses of Parliament and travelled for a while alone the north side of the Thames past Battersea Power Station. Soon we crossed the River and headed further south.

Lambeth, Clapham, Tooting Streatham, Crystal Palace and Croydon past by as the miles went by. The ride down the long hill past Crystal Palace must have produced speeds over 35 mph!  At the 20 mile point we stopped for a well deserved rest. Having completed the longest single distance on my SL2 I was suffering no ill effects. I had worried about the lower riding position putting strain on my back but I was fine and glad that I had not brought the heavier and less agile ML6. With our rest over we headed off again.

It wasn't too long until we were in the countryside, made all more beautiful by the fantastic weather we had been blessed with. It was also the start of the mountain section! I say mountains as there were a series of incredible gradients. With only two gears this resulted in me out of the saddle and pushing but to be honest being 42 years young I would have been doing the same if I had of brought the ML6 instead.

Lovely scenery and glorious weather

One of those hills
We passed near Biggin Hill and arrived at Sevonoaks. With another 45 or so minutes to Tonbridge we were given the choice of getting the train back to London or Tonbridge or carrying on. I and one other decided on travelling back to London and the others pushed on.

On the train my legs were aching but soon recovered and I knew a soak in a hot bath and an early night would put things right.

I am very happy I tagged along with the 'Small Wheels Big Difference' chaps. I enjoyed the ride and finding out more about them and the reasons behind why they are embarking on their charity ride. My SL2 proved to be a worthy ally and having cycled approaching 30 miles, almost 24 hours after the event I am not suffering in any way. The bath and early night must have helped.

You can find out more about 'Small Wheels Big Difference' donate, support and even join in just like I did by going to their website: www.smallwheelsbigdifference.org

It really is a great thing they are doing and if you haven't given any money to charity this year or want to donate what you can to three good causes please look them up.

1 comment:

  1. 35 MPH is quite fast. I am glad you had a great ride.

    For aches and pains, adding a cup or two of Epsom salt to the bath help a lot.

    Paz :)

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