Monday, 19 March 2012

London to Brighton and the train

Saturday we cycled to Brighton. All week had been lovely sunshine and - guaranteed - when I woke up on Saturday with the Kareoke hits of the night before ringing in my ears it was grey and the rain was coming. With luminous jacket and ham sandwiches we set off. The first puncture was just before The Elephant. One spare tube down. The second was in Clapham. Now both tubes were done. Then was a good run though neither James nor I spoke much. We hadn't fallen out - just huge hangovers. Once out of London - Tooting, Mitcham and Carshalton we hit the home counties and towns Reigate and Redhill. Nice hedges. 

The South Downs were beautiful and I took the hills at my own pace. After my knees nearly gave out on the cycle to Cardiff I have decided my own pace on hills will be better in the long run. So..whilst James was miles ahead and whilst Wales was playing in the Millennium stadium for the Grand Slam I sang the Welsh national anthem to the English hills. 

With the sun long set we approached the infamous Ditchin Beacon occasionally blinded by full beam headlights. I kept pedalling and made it with a red face. After a short diversion on the hard shoulder of the A23 we were nearly there. And then .. 'Ah, my bike feels funny' - the third puncture. No more tubes. No patches. The last five miles would be on foot in the dark and in the rain. This is ultimately what our cycling will be about - enjoying the adventure and unexpected. 65 miles - not bad for a weekend ride.

On Sunday morning the sun was shining and the sea was shimmering. The crazy bike man on the beach sold us the wrong tubes. Thanks Rachel, Mark, Eve and Caleb for a great welcome. And with new tyres we caught the train back to the big smoke. Slightly stronger legs and a little bit closer to the bigger adventure. You've got to enjoy the journey.

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