Playing catch up 4

Chris in Ireland and Tim busy. Henry and I spend the night on the Cabby before going for a Dun Run. Get the miles in the legs 120 miler and similar gung-ho chat.

The tandem is not an option for me to bring back on the train so I am on the Brompton and we fix up Justine’s beautiful, orange, hardtail Kona Lavadome – an original one that has previously done both the Dun Run and the North Himalaya plateau.

We lift it down to the pontoon and, of course, the tyre goes flat. Again, I can not find the right tube. Inner tubes are proven fans of Douglas Adams and, like biro’s they hide when you need them. The wheels are smaller than the Kona Sutra I discover. I also find the missing tubes for the Helios Circe that were nowhere to be seen a couple of weeks back. Even more obscure, tubes for the beautiful and expensive Pacific Reach IF – sadly crushed between my neighbours barge and the shore when he was borrowing it. While interesting to see it folded in a completely different way than intended, it was 1.6k down the drain as you smile and say, ‘don’t worry about it, accidents happen’ or something similar. Still gutted as it was a designers wet dream. I digress.

Tube patched. Henry exclaiming about what a real bike feels like and we are off. It is even still early – 6.30ish, no less! Up the Limehouse Cut, out through Epping. Tracking the route on Strava makes checking directions easy without anything annoying as Sat Nav talking to you.

I have the advantage of the Brighton ride in my legs, much as I hated it at the time, and feel as though I can ride for ever. Henry is strong for the first 40 miles and then the pass slows. Fair enough, we have covered a whole county and over 60 miles by the time we reach Sudbury. Lunch and a train home to collect the children in time – again! – seem to be a far better idea.

Although, I had to collect the children from a play date at a charming house on Elsworthy Road –  a strange road that runs alongside Primrose Hill (NW3), but is neither that or quite St Johns Wood (NW8), which I like. The children are still eating and I have to remove my shoes while waiting. Not good after a ride and I am painfully self-conscious, to the extent of wishing I had faced the wrath of being late…

 

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Torygraph best cycling sportives of 2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/11309043/The-six-best-cycling-sportives-of-2015.html

It appears Chris and I are almost the zeitgeists as it includes our two favourites (in fact the only two we do):

Marrakech Atlas Etape

2015 sees only the third running of the Atlas Etape, an all-day ride in the 40° heat of Morocco.

The route takes riders from arid plains on the outskirts of Marrakech to the ski resort of Oukaimeden in the Atlas Mountains. At 140km, it sounds like a relative walk in the park, but consider this: although it’s an out-and-back route, the first 70km are all uphill, gaining 2,129 metres of ascent, in some serious humidity.

Once you reach the mountain-top, you turn round and go hell for leather back to Marrakech.

Get on board before everyone’s doing it; the 2015 edition of the ride takes place on April 26.

Dunwich Dynamo

A ride with plenty of atmosphere, but bring your best lights – it’s a night-time event.

The Dynamo started as a clandestine club run to the coast, but now sees several thousand cyclists undertake the 120-mile ride from Hackney in London to the lost town of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. Eerie, spectacular and life-affirming, you’ll not find many events like this one.

Just to add to the slightly esoteric feel of the Dynamo, the annual ride takes place on the Saturday nearest to July’s full moon – this year that’s the evening of Saturday, July 4