As I wrote earlier ("Cash Rich, Time Poor") for Mum's 83rd birthday "We took our bikes with us on the train and on the way back we cycled 30 miles but that is another story..." So here is the story:
Instead of catching the train back we donned our cycling gear and pedalled off. The first part of the journey was along the new national cycle route 22. This took us along a delightful valley running parallel with the Hog's Back as far as Guildford.
There we picked up the River Wey Navigation. It started off with a proper tow path but as we got into open country it degenerated into meadow. Cycling over tussocks is hard work and our average speed plummeted. By the time we reached Weybridge we had covered 30 miles and it was starting to get dusk. So we hopped on a train for the rest of the homeward journey. That had always been the plan we just weren't sure which station.
Then Friday just gone Mary said "Let's not cycle home for gym and yoga followed by a fish supper. Let's cycle past Wandsworth and keep going to Kingston!" So that is what we did.
A very pleasant 20 mile commute along the Thames Path arriving knackered at KOT about 8 o'clock. We dined at Frere Jacques, looking a little put of place in our cycling gear, then caught the train home.
Sunday was what all this training was for. Up at our normal weekday time along with our friend Lynn to cycle up to Clapham Junction, train to Waterloo and cycle to the start line. We were on the very first batch over the line unfortunately we only got as far as the first bridge, Tower, when Mary's bike took a puncture :-( that lost us some time but we were soon on our way.
After that is was the same routine as previous years: cycle, pit stop, cycle, pit stop, finish and go to the Bell for lunch and a well deserved pint (or two), then train home. All in all we did over 40 miles.
Clapham Junction at 07:15
At the start
Puncture at Tower Bridge
Over the finish line
Helmet hair style
See http://www.flickr.com/photos/8179454@N02/sets/72157605025427055/ for a fuller set of larger images.
Thames Bridges 2007
Thames Bridges 2006