Tuesday 27 December 2016

Rapha Festive 500: Day 1

Saturday 24th December - My Tour de Londres - South-west loop (Surrey)

As my rides are going to be in London and the home counties I have dubbed my Festive 500 My Tour de Londres.

Having read the various pieces of advice, one of the key points I've noted is to get out on the bike early, to accumulate the miles and leave a bit of slack towards the end of the eight days. So I got on my bike first thing in the morning - but it was just to do the 13.5km round trip to take part in the Dulwich Park run!

Park run, Dulwich Park
The terrain for the run was fairly easy - a pan flat 5km, and I just trotted round so everything was fine. As it was Christmas Eve, the runners were in the spirit of things so I joined in too by wearing something festive and having a post-run mince pie. It would have been rude not to.

Run director Gillian seemed quite impressed that I was hoping to ride 500km in eight days, though I guess it didn't sound that noteworthy when saying I had done 6.5km so far!

I really want to get in the 500km, but I don't want to miss out on doing the other sporting activities I enjoy, so Saturday was going to be a long day as I had planned to do a ride out to Box Hill after returning home from the run and having my breakfast. (I can't eat breakfast if I have a running race in the morning.)

So given the other activities I'd been up to, I didn't start my main ride until half past eleven. This was the Southern part of my ride, which would go mainly into Surrey. My ride to Box Hill took a slightly longer route through Croydon, over to Epsom and into the Surrey Hills via Ashstead and Headley. I also planned to do more than one ascent of the famous zigzags.

At Box Hill, as usual there were lots of people out walking, and of course cycling. A few of the bike riders I got talking to said that they wouldn't be signing up for the Festive 500 as they were planning on doing lots of drinking, and would be travelling up to see family (possibly or not possibly in that order!). It made me wonder what I was letting myself in for, particularly as the people I was talking to looked pretty fit, but yet were shying away from this, while I was attempting it on the back of a year of sporadic cycle training and racing.

Looking forward to my flapjack at the tea shop
After two ascents of the zigzag road, I had worked up an appetite, so I wasn't going to miss out on going to the National Trust tea shop for some festive flapjack.

Then it was off home via Tadworth and Coulsdon to return home.

91.5km ridden; 408.5km left
5km run
Two mince pies, one flapjack and 2 Quality streets eaten
Weather: cloudy and mild, 12 degC

My rides on the day on Strava:

Ride to Dulwich Park 

Ride from Dulwich Park

South-west loop - Surrey

Related posts
Tackling the Rapha Festive 500

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