08 August 2011

100 miles in Essex

Saturday July 30th, Liverpool Street, Central London, 8 a.m.

Twelve machacas meet up in this London hotspot for a 100 miles of superb riding to Maldon, a coastal town on the Essex county. Amongst these riders there were all sorts of bikes, including a very fast Optima recumbent with aero wheels that put all of us to shame on the flat and downhill bits (and without pushing too much)!!


Photos courtesy of simgsxr from the Cyclechat

The way out of London passed through Stratford, Woodford, Chigwell and soon into quiet country lanes. The route was put together by the leading rider Abs

About 40 km from the start, we had our first stop at a very nice tea rooms in Blackmore, where another rider (on a very nice old roadie from the late eighties) joined up. After topping up on caffeine and cake (still working on drinking tea! like most Brits seem to do) rolling countryside followed.

Photo courtesy of simgsxr from the Cyclechat

In less than 4 h riding time we reached the shore in Maldon, or rather, the canal shore. Pints, fish & chips, bacon rolls, and other delicacies were eaten under the gorgeous sun.

Bike rides 005

After Maldon the group split into people riding to southeast London, north London and central. The second bit of the route was busier than expected, and we even had two incidents.

The first one featured by a couple of jerks jumping red lights on a big car that then decided to threaten us with a big wooden stick?! Only a few miles after that we encountered another group of idiots that pulled out on us. Luckily enough, these guys got told off by one of the riders, who happened to be a police officer...at least they seemed to get the message! The vistas coming from the very east London of Canary Wharf and the City were superb, as was seeing all the new developments of the Olympic Park. Unfortunately we were riding fast and I did not have the time to take any shots. Not long until all this area is brought to hectic Olympic life! Nearly 2 h after crossing the M25, we got to our starting point in Liverpool St.

Overall, I rode over 180 km, 7:20 h riding time (almost the same amount I dedicate every day to writing up the bloody thesis, but a lot nicer!), 23.8 km/h average, 6 water bottles (and 8 wees).

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