I completed my first real training ride this weekend, cycling from Raynes Park, London, SW20 to Deal, Kent, CT14.

Bugger was it hard.

Well, I say hard, up until Hythe (next to Folkestone) I was absolutely great and loving it! It was a hell of a lot more of a challenge than I thought it would be, and further, with 107 miles being the final distance. The main problems being the number of very steep hills, by the time I was riding along the coast with its hill after every town I was ready to give up! I was still easily making 20-30mph on the flat and even faster downhill, but I couldn’t face the hills. It really didn’t help that my new gears (badly adjusted by myself I must add) were slipping like mad!

But the final achievement and the struggling up hills wasn’t what the ride was about. It was training for my 3 capitals in 3 days cycle challenge for MAG (sponsors still welcome at www.challengebee.org{.external}) and it was just a test of my capabilities, but in the end it was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Cycling through tiny villages with truly quaint village shops and little coffeeshops where the same people must meet for cup of tea every Saturday morning was absolutely brilliant!

Earlier today I was thinking that the London marathon must be great to run, but as much as I like London, Deptford and Charlton are exactly my idea of scenic. Yes, The Mall but The beauty of the countryside (including the hills) was a refreshing change. The tree lined single track roads, the waving at fellow cyclists and the sun shining felt great. Mind you, When I got to Folkestone there was one fella I didn’t take kindly to, with him suggesting I “try harder”. Yeah mate, you too after about 80 miles.

But even though I did have to stop for a few more rests than I planned from Hythe onwards, I did manage to make it all the way to Deal. Although this is probably thanks to Chris Woollard (despite letting me down on actually completing the charity ride with me!) and Adrian H at Evans in Wandsworth for helping me (even if it cost a small fortune) ready to make the trip, and if I am honest make the trip easier. And I do have a new wheel for the June trip!

If I can do 107 miles through the hilly South East of England though, I think I can do flat Holland, although the way my legs felt back on the bike today, I better do a little bit more training, and when I get more time to myself, just ride for the hell of it.

Anyway, I suppose I better give you the unimpressive stats!

**Cycling Time: 7:48:10

Trip distance: 107.3 miles

Average speed: 13.7 mph

Maximum speed: 34.5 mph