London to Southend, about 60 miles of rolling quiet roads from East London to the seaside town with the longest pier in Europe, with the promise of fish and chips at the end..how could I refuse?
The Dunwich Dynamo is fast approaching, and worried that I hadn’t got any serious miles in my legs, I signed up for the Southend ride on lfgss.com. I’d done the ride several years before and remembered how great it was, plus a lot of my friends were doing it.
This ride was also going to be the inaugural outing of the new Surly Crosscheck light tourer that my good mate Nhatt was building up for me at Brixton Cycles. Disaster struck late on Friday – the bike wasn’t ready! Whilst I didn’t really want to ride it fixed (my only other ride), I had another idea. So with a borrowed brake lever from Brixton cycles I did some last minute work on the fixed, and stuck a freewheel and a rear brake on it, packed the saddlebag with tools and food, filled the water bottle and was good to go!
After getting up at 6am on Saturday, I met some friends down the road from me and we rode the 10 miles to the start point in East London. After a fresh bagel from Brick Lane, around 40 of us headed off out of London.
Highlights of the trip were a herd of bulls running along side us in an adjoining field as we rode and the weather which was amazing! One of the guys had brought his mate on a massive mountain bike totally unsuitable for the ride – he was pushed up hills, given food and one of the fixed guys even swapped bikes with him for a stretch (he’d never ridden fixed before). He thoroughly enjoyed himself! The pace was fairly slow and there were a few hills, but even I managed to get up them all.
After the inevitable puncture and water stops, we made it to Southend just after lunchtime, fish and chips had never tasted so good! This was followed by beers on the beach and sunbathing in the glorious weather for the rest of the afternoon, then the train back to London and home.
All in all a healthy 80 miles under my belt – which will stand me in good stead for Dunwich in July.
The next ride will be a ladies London to Brighton ride in June, I’ll be sure to report back on that as well.
Today will be spent watching the Giro, rubbing cream on the wierd spots of sunburn from yesterday and doing as little as possible!