The light is finally starting to get better! I did a touch under 2 and half hours yesterday after school and the same again today, riding at a decent lick with some sprints/efforts added into the ride. Both followed the route that I always take, whatever the ride, but with different loops added in once I had reached the lanes.
It was pretty cold and today was a lot darker so had to pull out the lights around six, however still so much nicer than my pre Xmas weeknight rides with Rhys, two to three hours in the dark isnt great! That said my first ever proper ride was the Dunwich Dynamo, an overnight 200km/120mile jaunt. Starting in London Fields and ending on the beach in Dunwich. Its an amazing ride with a great mix of hard core couriers, leisure cyclists, racers and every type of rider inbetween. Two years ago Alex and I did it after competing (and winning with Hackney) in the London Youth Games in the morning, I also had a broken finger (with cast) from my fight with a Minicab door, its safe to say I had some pain that night, thankfully in the legs rather then hand. The distance is a hard sportive length whatever, but overnight its completely different, certainly a great deal more taxing mentally and physically.
It was the ride that got me properly started on two wheels aged thirteen. After getting a major kicking that year I wanted to ride it faster and harder, the training for that lead to racing and so to now. The sight of hundreds of red lights trailing up the road ahead is great and never really knowing the gradient of the road is fun.
Number one experience was stopping en route with Alex, completely lost, around midnight in a small Village in Essex. Staring blindly at a tiny route map for what felt like hours, before thankfully a jolly group of riders picked us up and took us on our way. I havent checked the dates for this years ride, its based around the full moon in July, but it would be great to do it, however a little slower this year as Bede (my ten year old brother) is planning on riding too. I wouldnt miss him seeing the sun rise from the saddle and reaching the beach for anything!
Whilst out today I was also thinking about a status I saw on a pretty well known riders Facebook, about riders boasting about watts. I often either read about hours put in, watts put out or miles in the legs. I guess they say sprinters have to be 100% confident in themselves and a little brash or cocky, and that spills over into all riders a little. Some people just do it in different ways, I like to think that I ride with confidence instead of trying to show it when talking or writing but who knows... I just dont want to become one of those riders who uses their blog, twitter or any other internet medium to show off their huge wattage and miles!