Saturday, 9 February 2013

The degeneration of a novice heading for Box Hill

At 8.30 this morning we met at Sheen Gate, Richmond Park. Led by cameraman Stephen Hird we consisted of Martin and Fab from C4news, Ben MD (ex C4news) Ed and Oli my old school friends, James G who's a friend of Will Pearson and former Time Trial cyclist Michael Hutchinson who is writing something for Cycling Weekly about the ride. We headed out past Hampton Court, Ockham, Cobham down towards Box HIll. There's a horrendous steep hill on the way - I can't remember what it is called. The weather was cold - raining and snow along the way. I nearly crashed into Ben down a muddy hill when my wheel locked up on braking. All a bit hairy. It was an eye-opener and I clearly have a long way to go. The hills nearly killed me. Though Box Hill itself is fine if you don't try to race up it. It revealed (not that I needed it revealed) quite how much fitness training I need, and quite how unfit I am. Fab was brilliant, sticking with me all the way even though it must have been very boring and a bit cold for him to go so slowly. We lost Stephen and Ben on the way, Michael had to leave to do a cross country run and James had to get to Sussex in the snow. But we made it. 90-95kms. Some rode more from their homes. I sort of enjoyed it, in retrospect. And there will be more. But I'm dreading how I'm going to feel in the morning. And this may have been comparable to the London-Newhaven leg of the journey, but if I had to get up in 4 hours and ride twice as long again (as we will from Dieppe to Paris) I just wouldn't be able to. I hope by May31st I will! Thanks all for joining me today. Was fun.