A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Tour of Britain

Cambridge to Bury St. Edmunds
~ 100 km (60 miles) round trip

Yesterday’s ride to Bury was a bit of an impromptu one; Julian (another engineer) suggested it earlier in the week, but the weather forecast at the time wasn’t looking too favourable, so we put off the decision to late on Friday night. The forecast then was still for rain, but we decided to go anyway. The penultimate leg of the Tour of Britain, one of the longest legs, is a 200 km loop starting at Bury St. Edmunds, and heading in a big loop through Suffolk and Norfolk to finish at Kings Lynn. Julian’s idea was to ride out to Bury to see the start - something I was very keen on, since I saw mid-stage and finish points of the Tour de France on my Alpine trip but no starts.
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Loaded like a freight train

Because ‘loaded like a guided bus’ doesn’t sound quite the same…

A brief interlude this week - this isn’t part of my three peaks trip, but just a comment on one of my favourite rides around Cambridge. [Read More…]


Boat Race part 2: Greenwich to Cambridge

157th Varsity Boat Race
Part 2: Greenwich to Cambridge

Distance: 96 km / 60 mi

Sunday morning. I woke up, and it seemed like only a couple of hours since I went to bed. It was. I was not the best prepared I’ve ever been for a bike ride; I think it was a consequence of the pointless farce by which the clocks go forwards, which meant I lost an hour of sleep. It certainly had nothing to do with the late bedtime, loud music, and the sofa that was comfy but ever so slightly too short, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the wine and coke. Oh no.
However, it was a lovely day, and a 2 minute roll along the edge of Greenwich Park jolted me fully awake, and brought me to the foot tunnel. Again, it’d be nicer without steps, but we can’t have everything in life. Carrying my bike up and down those steps was probably the most strenuous part of the journey! This time, I knew where I was headed, so it was a short ride from leaving the tunnel to the canal.
Travelling to London always shakes my faith in humanity a little, and this time was no exception: the glittering towers of Canary Wharf, the prisons of the wealthy, nestle around and among the run-down tenement blocks of Tower Hamlets like some sort of dystopia, a real-life Huxley novel. I cycled past a young dad, playing with his five kids and teaching them to ride a minimoto on the scrap of sand at the edge of an old slipway; past a Muslim family, looking somewhat incongruous with the man in jeans, a fleece and new trainers, while his wife walked beside him clad head-to-toe in a black burqa, anonymous and invisible in the morning sunshine.
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Cambridge to Greenwich for the 157th Varsity Boat Race - part 1

Distance: 96 km / 60 mi

I’ve cycled to London quite a few times now; what made this trip special, and why am I writing about this one? Well, apart from getting lost in the Isle of Dogs, this was one of the best trips I’ve made: the weather was great, I think I’ve found what must be the nicest route between Cambridge and London, and most of all - unlike the previous year! - I made it to London in time to see the boat race.

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