The story of the restoration of a 1950s classic bicycle for a Land's End – John O'Groats charity ride in aid of Alzheimer's Society
Riding a hundred miles is something that most cyclists want to do at some time. I’ve never gone that far before in a single day’s ride, so it was time to change that.
The plan was to ride from Colchester to Uppingham in Rutland, following a 108-mile route built with Cyclestreets software. I left at 4.30a.m. and hoped to maintain an average of around 12 mph, which would have got me to Uppingham by mid-afternoon.
The route was beautiful, passing through lovely villages, some with strange and lovely names – Helions Bumpstead, Shudy Camps, the Stukelys, the Alconburys, the Giddings…
If I hadn’t got lost in Cambridge (for the second time in a month!), all would have gone well. But, in the event, progress was much slower than planned and I got to Laxton, 6 miles short of Uppingham, by 5.30 p.m. To avoid being late meeting friends, I called it a day in Laxton. So what distance did I cover?
My expensive Garmin 800 GPS satnav thingummy proved hopeless – it kept losing the track and then the battery went flat after 86 miles, when I was near Wyton, about 30 miles before I finished the ride. So I covered approximately 116 miles altogether. Laxton should have been 102 miles from Colchester, so getting lost cost me about 14 miles and a lot of time. Navigation is going to be a big problem for LEJOG.