We are now back from the ride, and had an awesome time. We tried our best to keep the Facebook and Twitter pages updated, but now were back it's time to share some the finer details and the photos, and of course to thank the people who have helped make the trip possible.
August 2nd 8am, and Matt's house became a hive of activity, family and friends came to see us off, and take some photos, and the five of us were not alone. Neil, Tom, Dan, Ash and Marcus all came to join us for the trip down to London which was great.
We set off at around 8:45, all kitted out in our shiny new jerseys, and each with around 15-20kg worth of luggage. The bikes were so heavy, that we began to keep tally of the amount of times Jess fell over with her bike, I won't say how many it was, but it was below 16 and above 14. We headed south (as that's where London is) and made it as far as Warwick before our first technical stop. Ed's rack mount bolts had shifted into a position where they were blocking his chain from changing gear. He could use the highest 3 on two front rings, but no more. To fix the problem we needed to take the wheel off, but Ed was happy to carry on with the limited gearing, so after meeting up with Sarah too, who also joined us, we pushed on passed Warwick and the next stop was Banbury for lunch!
We found a great pasty shop, and the guy even gave us some free pasties which came in very handy later in the day. A kind woman and her daughter also donated some money to the charity and then went home and joined our Facebook page.
We were full again, and although a bit tired, knew that we still had around 80 miles to go.
Sarah and Tom left us in Banbury and headed back to Birmingham, and the next stop Bicester is where Dan left us and kindly went home to confirm our route to Dover the next day.
We had done this route before, and really enjoyed the descent that followed the infamous Chinnor hill. The hill crosses the Chilterns with a 14% incline up through the trees, It's a struggle, but the 10 mile descent into high Wycombe makes it all worthwhile.
Dyfan had begun to have problems with his rack. The two stays at the top had both snapped, and were being held on by tape, This was going to have to be sorted in London, and luckily Ash offered to donate a rack he had at home, and said he would bring it the next morning! What a guy!
We got into London outskirts from the West at around 8:30pm and thanks to the help of Marcus and Ash riding up front, we made our way to Highgate and to the pub just in time for them to say that last orders had past, and that we wouldn't be getting a beer! Devastated! However we were given a few cans by somebody which flew down. We were all tired and as our original host had already left the pub we were now also homeless.
Then stepped up Xander to save us, and the best part was that he only lived 500 metres down the road in a great apartment. We split up, over the basement floor and ground floor bedrooms, and after some pasta and pre-bed prep we were fast asleep.
Total miles: 131
Total time: 14h 30m