June 21, 2012
Next weekend (June 30) sees the twentieth edition of this iconic 180km overnight ride from Hackney in London to Dunwich on the Suffolk Coast.
Most people leave London Fields between 8pm and 9pm so, with sunset at 9.21pm, a little later than in previous years, we’ll probably be past Epping Forest before its properly dark.
Here are a couple of tips if you’ve never done the ride before.
It can get quite chilly in the early hours so I’d recommend a long sleeved jersey and gilet with a rain shell in a pocket, just in case. Shorts are usually fine but you may be more comfortable adding tights and shoe covers, particularly if there’s a chance of rain. Similarly, mitts are usually fine but long fingered gloves might be handy.
The ride is unsupported so, along with a pump in your pocket, make sure your saddle pack has two tubes, two CO2, two tyre boots, six pre-glued patches, a gear wire, an emergency chain link, a multi-tool and tyre levers. You probably won’t need any of it if your bike is well maintained, but you never know…
Normal commuting lights are fine if you’re riding in a group and at a steady pace but you’ll need something with a little more punch if you’re on your own and riding at speed. A little light fixed to your helmet is handy for looking at the route sheet or your gps while on the go. Also, switch your rear light to solid on (not flashing) so you don’t drive those behind you mad. At 3am, a blinking red LED feels like it is stabbing deep into your cornea, and not in a good way.
Two bottles will be plenty to get you to the feed stop where they can be refilled. The queues for food at the stop can be quite long if you don’t get there early so I always bring a sandwich (ciabatta with ham, brie & cranberry sauce seeing as you asked) which is a nice change from energy bars. Don’t risk trying food you’re not familiar with and tested on other long rides. An upset stomach at 3am in the middle of nowhere is not as much fun as it sounds.
Sunrise is at 4.48am so we’ll need to leave the feed station by 1am to ensure we’re on the beach to see it.
Here’s a link to the route but please bring at least a £1 coin and support Southwark Cyclists by buying a route sheet.
See you at London Fields…
June 1, 2012
I’m just getting my saddle pack sorted for next weekend’s Paris-Roubaix sportive.
- Three inner tubes
- Two tyre levers
- CO2 cannister (pump in jersey pocket)
- Gear wire
- Chain link
- Multi-tool (with chain breaker)
- Six pre-glued patches
- Two tyre boots
Have I forgotten anything?
May 28, 2012
Another inspiring video from Rapha. Makes me want to trawl the OS maps of this part of the world again to see what little gem of a lane or track I can find to incorporate into our weekly rides.
May 7, 2012
As it is Giro time of the year again, here’s a fabulous documentary from the 1974 edition. It shows Belgian champion Merckx, the reigning world champion Gimondi, and the Columbian climber Fuente, locked together in a race for victory that went neck-and-neck to the end.
April 27, 2012
Nice little video celebrating Jonathan Tiernan Locke’s KOM win at last year’s Tour of Britain. It gives a flavour of what it must be like in the Rapha team car.
April 20, 2012
This winter has dragged on far too long. Time to get out and enjoy the sunshine (when it comes)…
January 20, 2012
Tour de France green jersey winner and World Champion Mark Cavendish looks back at his 2011 season.