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Trek+Hyde Park = 77miles+Sore Bum

Tuesday September 1, 2009
Ready To Go

0700 And Ready To Go

Monday, 0700hrs,  and the Trek was out and ready for its longest journey to date.  It was a Bank Holiday yesterday so I took the opportunity to tackle one of my cycling challenges, to ride into London and back.

I set Hyde Park as my destination and stocked up with a couple of sandwiches and some water then hit the road.

I had my route planned in my head and on my GPS which was mounted to my handlebars.  The route would take me from Rochester, up through Strood to Gravesend, then through Dartford, following the River Thames past Woolwich.  I’d cross the River Thames over Tower Bridge and then continue to follow the river west before heading North to Trafalgar Square.  Then a short dash down The Mall and I’d be more or less at my destination.

Route Shown In Yellow

Route Shown In Yellow

Being a Bank Holiday the roads were fairly quiet so I was looking forward to a relatively easy ride into ‘the big smoke’.  This was to be my first time cycling in London – I’ve driven there and walked its streets many times but this would be a first.  But before the city streets I had to cycle the minor roads from Rochester.  The route I had planned may not have been the most direct but it kept me off the busiest roads whilst taking me to places I have not previously visited.  From door to Park the route was 36 miles, and with some random cycling en route, the total journey was going to easily break my previous record (~59 miles).

Dartford River Crossing Toll

Dartford Tolls

The route took me over the M25 at the Dartford Crossing and it was quite interesting to watch the traffic from the bridge near the toll booths.  I’ve been in those queues many times!  [Distance: 14.7 miles; Time: 1h33m]

Cycling hard, from there onwards towards London, the scenery was nothing to ‘write home’ about, quite bland and in places industrial.  However, before long I was entering the outskirts of London and stopped briefly at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich for a few photos.  [Distance: 28.9 miles; Time 2h43m]

About 30 minutes later, dodging the increasing levels of traffic, I arrived at Tower Bridge – one of London’s most famous landmarks.  I hadn’t been there for quite a while.  These days, my trips to London are usually night-based and involve a lot of beer and the only sight-seeing I normally do there is of the female variety!  So, it was good to be doing the tourist thing and seeing what the visitors see.  [Distance: 32.8 miles; Time: 3h11m]

Once over Tower Bridge (now dodging tourists as well as cars), I turned left at the Tower of London and headed along the river.  Choking as I cycled through the Blackfriars  Underpass (fumes) and back into the sunlight as I proceeded along the Embankment.  Just after Hungerford Bridge I took a right up Northumberland Avenue and on to Trafalgar Square.  A few photos of Nelson later and I turned and headed down (or up?) The Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

Admiralty Arch

Admiralty Arch

The Mall itself was closed to vehicles due to some Horse Guard movements and there were police and tourists everywhere.  I pushed on through, took a few photos, and headed to my destination, along Constitution Hill.  Stopping briefly to buy a few cans of Coke and a Red Bull, I then stepped into Hyde Park.

I sat down and enjoyed the cool can of Coke in the Park.  37.3 miles, 4h10m (including stopping/photography time) – according to the GPS data.

After having my lunch I moved on towards The Serpentine, the lake in the Park, and relaxed under a tree with a coffee from ‘The Boat House’.  It had turned out to be a great summer day, the sun was out and it was very warm.  All the ‘Beautiful People’ were out either jogging or roller-blading alongside the lake.  Families played in the sun.  Birds flocked around children with bread.  My legs ached!

I spent about an hour in Hyde Park and then jumped back on the Trek and headed home.  The return journey was the same as the morning’s ride but I did take a short detour at the end of The Mall to have a quick look around Horse Guards (where they carry out the Trooping the Colour).

The ride home was hard, really hard.  It was hot, the sun was blazing down on me and I was tired.  My aching legs felt as though they’d give up at any moment.  I had to take frequent stops to rehydrate and relieve the pressure on my aching ‘bits’.

Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier

I had a break at the Thames Barrier and drunk my last can of Coke on the grass overlooking the river.  Again, somewhere I haven’t been to for years – it’s now looking more grubby and ‘used’ since I saw it soon after it was built.

It was a struggle but I eventually got home at 1730, with my knees aching and having lost 6lbs in weight(!).  It had been a long day and the return had been pretty gruelling but I had completed my challenge and that really felt great.  The Trek performed well, although I do wish the saddle was bigger, far more padded and chilled!

I have not been out on the bike today!  🙂

Photos from my journey to London and back can be found on Flickr (click here).

The GPS Summary

The Trip Details At The End Of The Day

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8 comments

  1. Wow great! Congratulation! Long trip with very nice photos.
    It’s quite pitty that you haven’t Dahon trip bike such as Speed TR. You should make the trip on the Dahon like real dahonist 😀

    I have on my Speed D7 1.100 km (about 600 miles) already and I didn’t use this year other bike than Dahon 😀


    • Thanks Mech.

      I wish I could take the Dahon, but I think the journey would take me significantly longer!

      Took the Dahon out yesterday – photos and blog post coming up next.

      600 miles on your Dahon is excellent! I haven’t counted the mileage on my Dahon but I know it isn’t as high has yours.


  2. Congratulations are definitely in order! You must be seriously fit! The furthest I’ve ridden this year was just over 40 miles and that was on the Dahon. I’m deciding what to do with it since I got my Grisley. Thank you for a brilliant ride and story.


    • Seriously crazy is more like it, Robin! 😉

      40 on a Dahon is a great achievement with their small wheels and gearing ratios.

      I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures on the Grisley – it’s a good looking bike.


      • I’d love to get out on the Grisley. It’s set up to my liking with my choice of handlebars and tyres along with my own pedals and saddle. You were talking about a sore bum. Your saddle did look a bit racy. The Specialized Sonoma saddle that I have is excellent. Then again you might think of a suspension seat post but that would add weight.


  3. […] On Dahon Dave’s experiences on two wheels « Trek+Hyde Park = 77miles+Sore Bum Bonjour Dahon! Thursday September 3, 2009 Ready To […]


  4. […] I completed a 77mile ride to London’s Hyde Park and back, began my Rochester Challenge and took the Dahon across The […]


  5. […] last ‘long’ ride was to Hyde Park and back in one day, a trip of 77miles in total, last September.  During that ride, I got numbness and discomfort in […]



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