Map reference: out to the Surrey Hills but staying as flat as I could, 135k, 1,300m elevation, oops.
Carbs and caffeine: tuna sandwich at good old Bike Beans http://www.bikebeans.co.uk/
Finally, the kids are back at school and I can get out. Jen, who said she hadn’t ridden her bike for five weeks (but let it slip that she has been spinning away during her globe-trotting tour), was up for trying to get in some distance to prepare for L’Etape London. She is surprisingly jittery about the sportive, considering she beats me up every hill and easily keeps up the pace up on the flat.
I decided we should go out Peaslake way as, soon enough, the hills around there will be too cruddy with the winter weather. I tried to avoid too much of the up-down-up again route that we usually do, but it is hard to be on the flat around there.
We rode 70k without stopping to try to get used to just keeping the legs turning, stopping only to mainline a few jelly babies and gels.
At times I felt quite out of sorts trying to keep up (that will be the depression of watching tiny Jen getting smaller and smaller as she pulled away from me up the hills) and I developed a bit of a headache despite drinking plenty of water.
We had a proper stop at Bike Beans and that helped. We then took a deliberately long circuit home back across to Cobham in order to keep the mileage up, and Jen and I parted company at 105k in Richmond Park.
With some discipline, I decided to carry on pedalling rather than going home for a shower (I must say sorry to the school gate mums, again), and challenged myself to get up to 125k. To do this I headed out of Ham gate, to do a circuit around Ham, I then did another circuit to be sure, and set off to Richmond Park. Cutting across the park I realised I was past 126k and my new target had to be 130k. I doubled back on myself to make sure I hit my new number. That achieved, I made my way back to the car. Unfortunately, as I neared, I realised that my Garmin now read 132k. So, of course I then had to circuit the Coombe Estate to get a nice round 135k. As I passed the car, the reading was still 134k, I carried on for a couple of hundred metres and quickly turned around as it ticked over to 135k. Thank heavens it stayed on the magic number or I might still be out there looping the area.
Note to self: watch those OCD tendencies when you are tired