The first ten miles went nicely, but after the first ascent of the North Downs about 12miles the heavens opened and a fast downhill laced with sharp gravel chippings seemed to cause tens of punctures for riders, including me.
So two inner tubes later I rolled into the feed station at Rochester (30 miles) wet and miserable. The race mechanics helped me out with two more spare inner tubes and a decent amount of air into my tyres – and a couple of colleagues from Medway Council came down to cheer me on waving their posters.
The next 20 miles were hard work – two ascents and descents of the North Downs, gusty winds and driving rain made it tough. Passing through the 50 mile mark and over the M20 into West Kent the weather picked up, the sun shone and the roads got flatter and surfaces smoother (important when your backside feels every little bump and ride!).
After a brief lunch stop in Headcorn (56 miles) it was onwards through the picturesque Weald in the sunshine to feed stations at Bodiam Castle (80 miles) and Goudhurst (90 miles).
Leaving Goudhurst I knew I was going to make it and relaxed into the last ten miles with heavy legs but excited that the end was in sight.
Looking back on the day, I really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to test my physical and mental abilities against possibly the toughest physical challenge I’ve taken on (so far!).
And most important of all, thanks to generous sponsorship I raised over £450 for Action Medical Research’s important work into children’s health, tackling problems affecting pregnancy, childbirth, babies, children and adolescents.
Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored me on the ride – your support is very much appreciated:
Andy and Nicky Wake
Catherine and Tim Day
Cathy and Mike Barrow
Jo, Olly and Toby Wakeman
Kathleen and Graham Vinten
Paul and Di Cheshire
Richard and Pat Wakeman