On Saturday 6th August I set out at 6am to cycle 40 miles in my first of my ten challenges that I have set as part of my 40 ways celebrations. Here I am buzzing with adrenaline (and fear) after a less than great nights sleep and 75 miles of cycling in the week to prepare
It was also the morning after the night before with the first full day of competition in the Rio Olympics. Four years earlier Bradley Wiggins cycled in style to a great Gold Medal on some of the route that I would be cycling.
Leg 1: Southall to Hampton Court Palace (Via Hounslow, Whitton, Twickenham and Bushy Park). Distance cycled 9.4 Miles. Time 45 Mins
I set out on a very familiar route that I take to work in Teddington, including the delightful Strawberry Hill House on Waldergrave Road between Twickenham and Teddington. I was amazed cycling along here at 6.30am, not a single car on the road. Four years ago I stood on the pavement of this road watching Bradley Wiggins cruise past on his way to Gold. Today it was my turn! I was soon in Bushy Park and at the end of the first section I made it to the stunning Hampton Court. Nearly 1/4 of my distance done.
Leg 2: Hampton Court to Richmond Park (Richmond Gate) via Hampton Wick, Strawberry Vale, Richmond Bridge and Hill (Ouch) Distance 6.1 Miles. Time 35 Mins. Total Time 1 Hour 20 mins.
The shortest leg of the four, but it took just 10 minutes less than Leg 1 as I just had to get some stunning photos, oh and I had seriously underestimated the climb of Richmond Hill. The Thames looked stunning and the views on the approach to Richmond Park in the morning sunshine were breathtaking in more ways than one!
Leg 3: 2 Full Laps of Richmond Park – 13.5 Miles – 1 Hour 10 Mins. Total Time 2 hours 30 mins
The longest and toughest Leg of the four. I had underestimated the climbs which were tough and whilst I loved the views and the downhill moments this leg with some of the climbs definitely highlighted my relative lack of fitness. It was good to work the heart rate but I hit the wall on several occasions. Being part of the cycling scene in the park felt great, but I was definitely one of the slower cyclists in the park! But hey with views like this who cares!
Here I am at the end of the Leg feeling happy to have completed it!
Leg 4: Richmond Park to Home (Via Twickenham, Teddington and Osterley Park) 11.1 Miles.1 Hour. Final Time 3 Hours 30 minutes.
The final leg, The legs were beginning to feel it, but I maintained a pretty good pace and aside from one minor wobble where I almost fell off my bike, I had a great final leg, taking in much of what I usually do on my way back from work, with the delights of Osterley Park
I then headed out of the park, down through Osterley Lane, past Norwood Green and after one final climb I was home! I had done it and I was feeling good…. My feelings of goodness were enhanced by this rather wonderful welcome party!
And then to top it all off and celebrate in style I was treated to a delightful home made brunch of Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs and Maple Syrup with Fresh Brazilian coffee!
I had a really great morning and found the experience to be exhilarating and enjoyable. My challenges are up and running! Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far. If you have read this and want to know more and make a donation to the 2 charities I am doing this for then do check out.
Bring on the next challenge! I’m doing a screen free week from 22-28 August. I’ve never gone screen free for a whole week. During Lent Hazel and I did a series of 6 ‘Screen Free Sundays’ but for this next one I’m stepping it up a bit more!