One week post Le Jog with legs somewhat recovered, the next ride was on the cards and what better than a squander to the North Downs and Box Hill with esteemed ChainLUBE member, Daffyd Garrick. Unfortunately Rafe Watson and Parker Johnson were absent for this trip, having ambled down to the West Country to make the most of the oddly Indian British Summer.
The day began with a one stop servicing in the Garrick Bike Clinic who winced as he heard my chain spin. “When did you last oil it?” he ventured, perhaps optimistically listening to the strain of metal upon metal. “Uh, before the tour mate,” I returned to the disappointment of Garrick. “Not doing a service to the team name eh?” he proposed as he generously lubed.
We rolled out of Hanwell into the forgiving temperature of 22 degrees. Traffic was slight and our anticipated prediction of a flux of cyclists on the streets ahead of the Ride London 2013 event was unfounded as we kept the streets largely to ourselves. By the time we had traversed the 10 miles or so to Richmond we were thoroughly warmed up with Garrick pace setting at a relentless 15mph or so. Perhaps surprisingly, I did not struggle as much as I thought I might and indeed where on other rides his bike had often vanished off into the distance, it remained at least a steady speck on the horizon – Saxo
Wank, I mean Bank Jersey in sight. At one or two points, some stealth attacks were attempted vainly by myself, batted right out of the park by an unforgiving Garrick.
Box Hill itself was relatively quiet also and surprisingly slow. As we skirted around the base Daffydd informed me he had scaled the hill in the highly respectable time of 6 minutes or so. I assured him that this would not be the time I would be attempting and that he was to go forth and take the hill as it suited him. Myself, I settled into a steady pace, ascending the hill for as much as possible in the big ring before succumbing just after the first hair pin to the more forgiving small. Several riders from a local club passed me with ease towards the summit and I cursed them good naturedly under my breath. As I sped into the summit, I was rallied by my own fitness; keeping my heart rate just under 150bpm throughout.
After a short break at the summit and an appreciation of the epic view of Dorking, we tore through the remaining miles back home ending the day at a total of 53.5 miles in 3 and half hours of moving time. My legs were slightly sore and I was aware of my ITBs but not painfully enough to remove the satisfaction of an excellent ride. I made the final 200-300m ride home alone looking forward to trawling through the Garmin data of the ride which is given below for your view pleasure.