I’m sipping a shandy and waiting patiently (kinda) for the dinner being cooked for us. I’m also reflecting. Nearly 300km in two days and I feel elated yet broken. Proud yet slightly worried about my toe which I’m pretty sure is fractured. It’s painful to sit down (despite a lot of chamois cream) but wonderful to think of the new roads, new people and new emotions I’ve experienced during the past 48 hours.
Ride 1: Kati Jagger and I rode 180km from London to Suffolk to join a Rapha weekend. There was an option to get the train but ‘option Adventure’ was more appealing.
Ride 2: The group of us rode 100km the next day, covering two quaint coffee shops and a quintessentially British ‘fish and chips’ lunch stop.
Both routes can be found here: #stravait
A small photo-diary:
1. BUT FIRST
Eggs and coffee at Look Mum No hands, Old street. We talked about riding plans this summer, laughed at Laura’s portable radio she had brought along and then faffed about until we were ready to roll out. 30 mins later than expected. Naturally.
2. FRIES FOR THE WIN
We found a beautiful lunch stop, looking out to a river with the sun beaming down. The other people in the pub looked on at the three women in lycra (one who had her shoes off, nursing an injury) basking in the glory of our extra portion of sweet potato fries.
At Mile 87 we ran out of water and began our search for a shop. At mile 100, we finally found one. Broken and over-dramatically weak, we pulled up and fell instantly in love with a cold can of coke and the sign that said ‘toilet’. There's nothing quite like a long ride to make you appreciate the beauty in the basics.
4. MORNING GLORY
Waking up and putting on lycra, joggers and slides. Hearing the coffee machine turn on and understanding that simplicity is happiness.
5. COFFEE STOPS
With no time pressures, there's plenty of visual indulging. We stopped off for coffee, ice cream and fish and chips. We bumped into a guy who was wearing a 'CCLDN' tshirt (Rapha Cycle Club London). After introducing ourselves, he admitted that he nearly crashed his car when he saw the group of Rapha riders. He was buzzing just as much as these coffee filled riders were.
Most people crave and wait for big moments to happen in their life, instead of embracing the small ones that happen everyday. The beauty of cycling weekends are that they are filled with these, often overlooked, moments. Whether it's the precision-filled breakfast or the novel amount of time you have to sip your coffee in the morning before rolling out, you feel part of something. That something, which with every adventure never lessens, is living.