Hove, England - Sunday 10-July-2011
Has it really been five years since we last did the Capital to Coast Bike ride (aka Hampton Court to Hove)? It would appear so.
This year we both signed up but Mary wimped, partly on account of having done almost no cycling this year and partly because of having her Mum staying with us.
Instead our friend Ian stepped in to take Mary's place and keep me company. That meant Mary could act as support vehicle, take her Mum for a Sunday drive, collect us from the seaside and ferry us back home. Much better than faffing about with the lorry and coach option (for the bikes and riders respectively).
I must confess to being concerned. Ian is a serious, Lycra-on-Sunday cyclist and eats 60 km for breakfast. His bike has a titanium frame with carbon fibre forks - a mean machine."Don't try and keep up with him" Mary advised. As luck would have it he has been a little out of practice and what with me cycling to work regularly we were well matched thigh-wise.
It was a lovely sunny day and perfect for whizzing though some delightful countryside. We made the 60 miles (96 km) in 5 hours 10 minutes - a considerable improvement on last time when I did it in 7:20 but Ian did it in 3 ½. I clocked a maximum speed of 60 kph (37 mph) on one nice, long downhill.
I am also feeling particularly smug because I made it up Devil's Dyke without stopping. In fact I did it sitting down - no need to even get up out of the saddle and stand on the pedals.
A grand day out.