100 kilometres at night-time in London … Nightrider!
4 of us and 3000 others, most of them bombing it fast as they can, while we played the sightseers, wide mouth full of laughter, amazement and flapjack. Started at Crystal Palace at 11.40pm and were thinking about doing it by 6/7ish … well it took us a bit longer; we rolled in around 9ish…But what an adventure! The route was amazing, really well signed, only managed to get nearly lost once, which is a record for us by any account.. mind you, to get there was a bit of an adventure through a very dark park . Having all of London to ourselves was really surreal and magical; Canary Wharf with all those sparkling shiny mega spaces.. Annabel was desperately longing for some colour and velvet at that point; Camden Town with all the jolly fellows who were very amused of the sight of two wheels pedalling when the only double usually visible at that time of the night is brought on by the drink . Alexandra Palace, half way point, the view, dawn… crisp, pinkish, smelling cold earth … and then the trickling down to the big landmarks … but the best thing about it was pedalling with my wonderful mates; all the giggles and swearing of the hills the teas and wees and the real hero of the night was wonderful Nicol who has never cycled more than 30 kilometres and using gears was only from sight and theory… she was whizzing by the end of it and the gears were clicking furiously.
… and we did it together; it felt good so so very good.
And our treat ….
Well … we thought we needed a treat after roughing it through the night. We booked afternoon tea at the Dorchester. But as we only had an hour’s sleep we all felt a bit adrenalin fuelled, giggly and delirious. We packed our bags ..god knows how we filled with the car with 1 days supplies, put all 4 bikes back on my battered Zafira, bits hanging off… and after an hour and a half, some going around roundabouts and a very dubious U turn later (sat nav estimated 42 minutes), we pulled in to the Dorchester and gave the key to the man in the hat who managed not to the snigger in our face. Mind you we were grinning had ear to ear at that point nothing could have stopped us. And it was really really lovely, didn’t feel out of place, we were very well looked after and gave the whole escapade rather enchanted finish.