Saturday, 31st July saw me getting up at an ungodly hour to join Mark (King of the Hill) and a few others at 07:00 am in Trafalgar Square. The plan was to cycle to Otford where we would meet the main group and then cycle on to Whitstable. There were in fact two groups cycling the 26 miles from London. Jenny had a group that started at 06:00!
Once I had arrived we were off. There were four of us - Mark, Simon (veteran of many a Brompton ride), new Simon and myself. Our pace was purposeful but still conversational and it was great to catch up with Mark.
At the top of our ascent at Crystal Palace we picked up two more riders, one of which was James H. He had recently finished the Pan Celtic Ultra Endurance Race - on a Brompton. In addition he had just done the Dunwich Dynamo and cycled back again!
|The Pond Cafe courtyard
|Views from the Pond Cafe
|Getting ready to go
|Marking a corner
At one point we entered a narrow path that was very much like something out of the 'Lord of the Rings.' I wasn't concerned about the head-hight branches, the wildlife or exposed roots to negotiate but was about my Brompton getting dirty. More on that later!
|Take a closer look at this photo. They definitely waved.
|Getting ready for the ascent!
Hollingbourne Hill is quite demanding with the last little section up to where it flattens off a little rather steep. I made my way up at a quite respectful pace and near the top saw James H coming back down. He was to make another ascent!
In all I cycled 90 miles and when I got home my right knee was aching a little. Having a look at my SPD shoes I could see that one of the little bolts was loose. On closer inspection I discovered that the little plate under the plastic was broken. This might have been the cause of my knee being quite tender. I will hunt for a new pair.
Until next time, stay safe out there people!!