Saw this event few weeks prior to the day and thought I am free so no excuses. After the lack of training for Mallorca I thought this would be a good event to tackle. Add to that the fact my bro and I had tried and failed to do the western loop several times due to poor navigation, mix in the lure of feed stations and arrows and I was sold.
Preparation went well the day before with a long drive to Bedford and back for Monkfest and then the UCS End of season dinner in Kensington. Still an early rise and hassle free drive south through London an I was there ahead of Matthew and Gregg.
We set off with Gregg's friends who after my initial fears turned out not to be part of Team GB but Team Great Booty...
Got caught chatting early doors and had to fight to catch the group back up. Catch them I did but at the bottom of Leigh Hill. Not a hill to start when your heart rate is already 170+
Found Gregg and Jeremy at the first aid station and then managed to stay with them the rest of the western loop.
The first 90km done and it was onto the second eastern loop. Was loving the cycling and adding another example of how much I enjoy cycling. The hills got harder and harder as I got more tired. Felt it go on 'the Wall' and then the next two (thankfully last two) were really hard. Thought I was going to have to push up Yorks Hill as people were falling off sideways and my cadence was down to 30. But the aid station and top came into view just in time....
After the last hill (Titsey Hill) was done I was glad of some gentle undulations and was happy to have something left to grind away the last 10-15km back to Gatwick.
Overall a great ride and lovely weather for it. Never knew Kent had such lovely vistas and that you could circumnavigate Surrey, Sussex and Kent covering 180km and 9000ft of ascent with barely a whiff of any major roads.
Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend. Aid stations were great and the free cap means I will stop wearing my old one that Em loves so much.
I also enjoyed the 3 Byron burgers I had later that evening :-)
7hrs23 in the saddle. 183km and 2342m of ascent covered. Leith Hill, Pitch Hill, Combe Bottom, Ranmore Common, Box Hill, Tulleys Farm Hill, Weir Wood Hill, Kidds Hill (aka The Wall), Yorks Hill and Titsey Hill all done. Just had three Byron Burgers to celebrate!