Day 1 of Our 25th Anniversary Challenge
5th June 2017
An early start for Candice and I, standing nervously looking out over London from the Greenwich Observatory. The steel and glass monoliths dominating the view. After a few minutes we were joined by Yuka on what appeared to be an armoured car of a bicycle, or as it is more commonly called, a Hybrid. There was more bike than Yuka. It looked like she was only going for a ride around the park. After a few minutes the rest of the group appeared and after a quick briefing from our guide Nick, we were in the saddle and heading out of the park into the London traffic.
The route would take us up Shooters Hill (first of many hills of the day) and then follows the Thames corridor through to Dartford. From there we skirted Maidstone passing through Coxheath, Lenham and over the Kent Downs towards Folkestone. From Folkestone we travelled along what was a misty coast road to Dover. Now that all sounds very easy and for the most part of the day it wasn’t too bad. However, in the afternoon the ever cheerful Nick started mentioning Dover Hill. 75 miles into our 80 mile journey we found it. For the record, after peddling like fury for 75 miles this hill takes on the appearance of Everest. Our hearts sank and Nick’s ever cheerful disposition wasn’t really helping. We all began the hard climb hoping that it wasn’t going to be too bad. Around the halfway point I thought my heart was going to have a John Hurt Alien moment and decide that it didn’t want to be responsible for me anymore and decide to leave. Finally, with my legs burning, my lungs sucking up air like a Dyson, I made the summit. A few minutes later my colleague Candice appeared. The look on her face is something I don’t think I will ever forget. Thankfully it was downhill to our overnight stop, a warm bath and dinner. We had cycled 81.4 miles, climbed 3914ft in 5.48 hours. Needless to say I slept like a log.
If you would like to see the route taken please click the link below.
Blog Tags: 25 years