After completing the epic London to Brighton for the British Heart Foundation Rebecca took a short break before getting back on her bike to continue rasing funds for this fantasic charity:
Rebecca Anderson with her medal after completing the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride
You’d think following my previous London to Brighton experience I would have given up on the cycle rides for the summer, but I think I caught the bug and on Sunday 4th September I was back in the saddle ready for the London to Windsor Ride.
Since getting back from the London to Brighton ride I had not been on my bike once, I had been on holiday twice and done some walking – along with plenty of eating and cocktails! But had been neglecting my bike – so as you can imagine I was more than a little nervous as I felt very unprepared!! However The British Heart Foundation said that this event would suit those who wanted to enjoy a relaxing day of cycling. There was a choice of a 37 or 29 mile on-road route from Richmond Green to Alexandra Gardens in Windsor. I was doing the ride with one of my friends, Nath, who had got me through the last 20 miles of the London to Brighton, so was comfortable that we were both the same pace (well he slowed down to my pace) and that if I was struggling he would get me through. However given my lack of any cycling for 6 weeks I was only ever aiming for the 29 mile route, but I think Nath had other ideas.
We started at 9.30am in Richmond Park; it was a lovely morning, although wet weather was forecast. The forecast kept changing over the weekend, but we were hoping that the rain would do as forecast and hold off till mid afternoon…. Unlike London to Brighton the Windsor ride was much easier going, the route was pretty flat apart from one or two ‘undulations’, and because it is a less popular ride was pretty steady riding from the start. The route initially follows the Thames through West London and then the leafy lanes through the pretty villages of the Thames Valley. This annual ride is to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is is one of their series of rides, including the London to Brighton (thought to be Europe’s largest charity cycling event).
To say I had not been anywhere near my bike for 6 weeks I settled into the ride quite well and didn’t feel and tiredness or pain in my legs as expected. But by the mid way point where the two routes split, my friend Nath was struggling and very much round to my way of thinking of only doing the shorter 29 mile route. And boy, were we pleased!!
We stopped at the last refreshment stop at a pub about 8 or 10 miles from the end to have a drink and a flapjack to keep us going, and it started spitting with rain. We decided to only stop for 5 minutes and then get moving to do the last 8 miles, just in case it carried on raining….as you can see from the picture below, it about sums up the last 8 miles of riding at one point I had both my eyes shut because the rain was driving that hard that I couldn’t see – not ideal when you are cycling down hill at speed and the roads aren’t closed!! But we finished, the weather meant we were drenched to the skin and cold but it didn’t dampen our spirits, or my interest in cycling. Next year I am going to take part in the BHF London to Cambridge and London to Southend rides!!
Rebecca Anderson-JCI London Community Team Member
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Categorised in: Community
This post was written by makedo