Sunday, July 26, 2009
The London, Edingburgh London begins...
Early this morning (5am) Paul and I set off for the Lee Vally Youth Hostel near Cheshunt on the outskirts of London. This is the home of the start of the London, Edinburgh, London cycle ride. We arrived about 7am in order for Paul to register. Even at this time there were cyclists everywhere. 600 in total from 29 different countries of all ages and on all kinds of bikes. They had one thing in common though - the belief that cycling 875 miles pretty much non stop is normal and fun!
The cyclist leave in waves throughout the day. Paul had been allocated a 2.45pm start time so our day was a strange mixture of the enjoying the atmosphere at the hostel, the excitement of watching groups start and long periods of hanging around a railway station car park. Paul's good friend Euclid came to join us and wish him well which helped speed up the wait and left me at a loss as the two of them admired wheels, lights, spokes and all sorts of other things which most of us think of as just bits of bikes.
Paul had been worrying that he had taken too much with him (he has everything in the two small bags in the photo) but soon found he was in good company. He was also in good company in many other ways. All the riders were very friendly and despite the language differences a common subject was all they needed to spark up conversations.
Paul finally set off at 2.30pm. By 5.15 he was texting me to say he was already past the check point in Gamlingay some 65K from the start. As I started to write this blog I realised this did not mean much to me or probably any non long distance cyclist reading this blog so here is a more user friendly version:
Sunday 26th June 2009
Status as of 5.15 pm
Distance travelled: 40 miles
Nearest large town: Cambridge