Old Bloke On An Old Bike

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

27 Jun 2015: A century ride

The Ellis-Briggs, still with her Eroica number

The Ellis-Briggs prepared for the ride, still wearing her Eroica number

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…

Helions Bumpstead

Helions Bumpstead

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.


This entry was posted on June 28, 2015 by in Training and tagged , , , , .
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