26th August 2007, starting at Bristol (Millennium Square), via Chobham Rugby Club and finishing at London (Euston).
I rode the Action 100 for the first time last year, and extended the official route onwards to Euston station. Which by the time I had diverted around the Notting Hill Carnaval turned out to be 143.6 miles and caused me to nearly miss my train home, which left 30 seconds after I got on board.
Like an idiot I’ve agreed to do it again this year, only this time I won’t be spending so much time at the rugby club, and my route to Euston is going to be planned somewhat better too. So it shouldn’t be quite such a panic to get the train. However, I will be trying to beat my 15.7mph average speed that I did in the Etape Caledonia – I might even get an earlier train.
I’m home now, and completed the official event, which has increased in distance to 110.35 miles, in 6 hours 54 minutes and 11 seconds. With an average speed of 16.0mph, and maxed out at 42.8mph downhill, but unfortunately not with a following wind. According to MotionBased I had an average (and very unwelcome) headwind of 9.3mph, which is what I believe contributed to me missing my 19:25 train by 1 minute – Why is it that when you want a train to be on-time it’s late and when you want it to be late it’s on-time?
This year I found a much better route through London, going south of the Thames until Lambeth Bridge. Although London does need to rethink it’s policy on speed bumps if it intends to promote cycling as a means of transport. There is nothing more uncomfortable after a long ride than mile after mile of full width speed bumps. In fact they would be best advised to fill in the cavernous pot holes and remove the bumps altogether or there will be no other way of driving in London than with a 4×4 or a tracked vehicle.
There is one thing though that will mark this event in my memory more than any other, and that is the gentleman who chatted to me as I was riding through Richmond Park. It’s not the conversation that is most memorable, although I do remember it quite clearly, it was most welcome and certainly lifted my spirits. No, it’s the fact that he took the time to look me up on the Internet and then made a very generous donation to Action Medical Research. Laurence, if you are reading this then I thank you most sincerely, please get in touch.
The total amount I have raised for Action Medical Research for this ride is £579 (excluding gift aid), which is fantastic and heartfelt thanks go to everyone who sponsored me.