Waking up to the sound of an alarm at 5.30am on the Stenna Brittanica boat just outside of Harwich, was a bit of a shock to the system, and with a proposed 90 mile route ahead of me I knew that it was going to be a pretty tough day ahead.
It felt good to be back on British soil and back on the left hand side of the road, cycling along the A12, which if you’ve ever had the chance is ridiculously scary on a bike. Why the Garmin had decided to send me this way I don’t know and so at the earliest point I got off of there and onto some more easily scalable roads. Knowing that I only had 90 miles today I wanted to get it over and done with pretty quickly.
Making good time, before I knew it I was in Colchester and it was time for a short break to stock up some energy bars. By this time the Garmin was reading 70 miles to go, which was a real psychological boost and so I plugged on, stopping again at a petrol station for a sandwich, coffee and a box of jaffa cakes (they’re great cycling food).
At Brentwood, by which time my legs felt like they wanted to fall off, the super hero dad appeared and offered to lighten the load by taking a hold of the panniers. He hadn’t realised how heavy they actually were and was amazed at the distance that I’d already covered that day. So with a lighter load and more streamlined posture, I was back into racing posture and so shot off towards Romford, Stratford, London Bridge and eventually home. I was really moving and although my achilles were completely shot, I was pleased to be over taking people, by the time I’d reached the 86 mile mark.
As I set off along a route home that I knew (ignoring the Garmin) it was definitely time to stock up on some more food and head to Krispy Kreme (sugar boost), where I met dad and we sat for 45 minutes or so. By this time I was only 10 miles or so from home and starting to get excited and so I set off, moving pretty well and thinking maybe (just maybe) I might be braking some Strava PR’s on my route home from work. I’d have to wait and see.
30 minutes later I was walking in through the front door of home, to the whole family who rewarded me with champagne. I’d done it. I’d cycled from Berlin to London (with a small cheat one day) in 7 days of cycling.
After congrats from the family, the first thing to do was to get all of the data uploaded from the Garmin to Strava. I was disappointed to find out that Day 1’s 84 miles hadn’t saved properly, but the others all had. I managed to get myself a KOM on a category 4 climb in Germany (even though I’m the only person to have cycled it) and overall was ranked 435th of 53000 riders on Strava for distances this month. In total I’ve calculated with the additional 84 miles from day 1 that I’ve cycled 599.6miles and that’s not including the additional miles that should have been added to the ride on day 2 when I cycled near to 150 miles. You can check all of the stats here though http://www.strava.com/athletes/1726419.
By this time I was ready for a bath and bed and although I got the bath, I was told that we should go out for dinner to celebrate at the Leg of Mutton and Cauliflower in Ashtead. Upon arrival I was again greeted by even more friends, all of whom were there to congratulate me on the ride. It was great to be celebrated, but it really wasn’t needed. Every Moment Matters Always, and with the current total raised at £2050 this has definitely been one of those important moments.