Those of you who follow my on social media know how much I go on about cycling and my two rides planned for this year: the London to Reading and London to Brighton, both in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Well last Saturday at 07:00, #TeamBadInfluences’ Katie and I were chauffeured by my wonderful husband, Sam, to Kempton Park Racecourse for our 40-mile ride to Reading.
I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t quite what we’d expected – there were far more normal people there and less ‘elite’ athletes, so we didn’t feel too far from home! We left Kempton just after 08:00 and followed our route through Sunbury, Shepperton, Chertsey and into Virginia Water.
We realised at this point, we really weren’t far from home and that this was pretty easy… low and behold, once we got into our own territory of Waltham St Lawrence, Shurlock Row and Hare Hatch, psychologically, it became a little more difficult. We entered Henley with the knowledge that the worst was yet to come… Harpsden Hill. I faltered at the beginning and asked Katie if she wanted, like so many others ahead to walk; thankfully she said no and we persevered together to the top.
Now we were on the road to home, with only 6 more miles to go. We hit a whopping 32.7mph down Playhatch hill (naughty I know!), and glided into Caversham where we finally, 2 hours and 53 minutes later, found our finish line.
Pretty pleased with our little ‘warm-up’, now more hill training in preparation from London to Brighton in June!