Back on the bike after my ankle operation, and in addition to the usual commute I got in a few long, fun rides. I pressed ‘pause’ on long rides in the first week of August to concentrate on running for a bit. There’s more to life than cycling after all! More of that later…
Dunwich Dynamo 2015
Dunwich Dynamo is an annual semi-organised cycling event which starts at London Fields on a Saturday evening and after cycling through the night you end up over 100 miles away at Dunwich beach sometime on Sunday.
It was a nice night. The weather was kind to us right up until we arrived at Dunwich, when it started raining.
One advantage to doing this ride on the Brompton is that we were able to just fold our bikes up and put them in the hold of the coach rather than stacking them up with loads of other bikes in the trailer.
Cycling throughout the night is a tiring experience. This is what the coach home looked like(!):
In the summer we did a few extra rides mid-week after work, and explored routes in Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey.
Saturday river ride
On a particularly sunny Saturday, three of us rode to Richmond and then continued along The Thames. This was such a nice ride we’ll have to repeat it in a larger group on another sunny day.
‘Four go down to Dartmoor’ – the sequel. We went on a day-trip to Devon, taking an early train down, a cycle around, and a late train home. Daniel planned this route, and it was packed with hills, breathtaking views and sunshine.
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
I did the Pru 100 on my big-wheeled bike. It was really well organised and cycling through London on closed roads is an opportunity not to be missed. There was a bit of congestion up the hills in Surrey, but otherwise a very enjoyable ride. It was really nice to see so many spectators lining the streets too. My time was 5h44m. I’ve signed up again to be considered in the ballot for 2016. If I get in I’ll probably do it on my Brompton to add extra fun 🙂
I didn’t get to do much cycling this month as I had an operation to remove some metalwork from my ankle.
Five years ago I got side-swiped by a van whilst riding my scooter on the way to work. I flew through the air a bit and landed into the kerb. When I looked down my foot was pointing the wrong way, so I asked someone to call for an ambulance.
Luckily I had skipped breakfast that morning, which meant I could be anaesthetised and operated on that same morning. I received excellent treatment at University College Hospital.
I had some metal work fitted. There was quite a lot of ligament damage and subsequent swelling which meant I got to spend 5 days in hospital and then another week of prescribed bed rest at home, before a month of bumbling around on crutches.
Recovery was slow, but in due course I was back on my feet. I appreciated my mobility more, and felt motivated to do more running and cycling. The scooter was a write-off at the accident so I started cycling to work again. In fact the more I did, the better I felt.
Every day over the past 5 years the ankle has been a bit of an annoyance because it gives aches and pains e.g. whilst walking, and the two bottom screws poked out slightly which meant I couldn’t wear boots. Also if I ever knocked that part of my leg it was pretty painful! So I went to see my GP earlier this year who referred me on to a consultant back at UCLH. The consultant agreed to the removal of the metalwork from the left-hand side of the leg. So in June 2015 I had the op under general anaesthetic, spent a week with my foot up and then another on crutches. After that I received the all clear, so started cycling again, albeit taking things a little easy.
Other than commuting, I did just one longer ride in June with the London Brompton Club, on the first day I was back cycling. The route was a gentle, flat ride along the Thames to Greenwich. It felt good to be back 🙂
I also went to two bike-themed events at Look Mum No Hands this month.
The first was a film screening event in conjunction with the BFI. One of the films shown, Racing Cyclist, featured Barrie Witcomb. He was also at the event and did a Q&A session where he talked about his life of cycling. This included what life was like training and racing in Britain in the 60s, as well as working in the family bicycle shop and hand-building frames.
The other event I went to was the book-launch of the English language version of The Grand Tour Cookbook by Hannah Grant – nutritionist and caterer for one of the pro tour cycling teams.
I did 100 km of Swains Lane loop – which turned out to be 41 ascents (Mont Ventoux is the equivalent of 24 ascents). This earned me a 2015 ‘King of the Mountain’ award for Swains Lane which I’m quite proud of. I will buy a red polkadot mug to celebrate in due course 🙂
I cycled from Otford to Whitstable on a very enjoyable London Brompton Club ride. The bike got muddy, but I’m ok with that 🙂
On Saturday I rode the Oasts and Coasts 300 km audax cycling event, and decided it would be fun to also cycle to and from the start. It was a long ride – I left my house at 02:30 on Saturday morning and returned at around 05:00 on Sunday, having covered 413 km. Here’s the complete ride:
One of my goals for 2015 is to cycle 10,000 km, which translates as almost 200 km per week. If I cycle to and from work every day (which I do almost religiously), I get about 100 km in, which leaves me a 100 km top up each weekend.
I have made an effort to do a mix of interesting rides in the weekends in January. It’s been great fun getting the kms in. If the next 11 months cycling is as enjoyable I’ll be lucky, and very happy.