11pm Friday night was as good a time as any to enter the Straight Outta Hackney 200k audax organised by Justin Jones from the ACH. I thought it would be a good idea to actually ride my road bike before PBP and this started from the Salisbury Hotel, Harringay, about an hour away from me and seemed like a good one. It had nothing to do with the promise of free beer and bbq after the finish, honest 🙂
Owing to the early start and lack of traffic, I arrived at the start at 7:10, way too early but better than arriving late… again.
We all rolled out at 8am and I quickly overtook the bigger bunches and was alone for a while until I found a group of four who were moving pretty rapidly so I latched on. This group shed one bloke but lasted until the first control at Ickleton (destroyed some cake and sorted a bottle refill) where ZigZag (I found out he was on YACF after the ride) took off on his singlespeed (respect!) and was never seen again (except when we briefly crossed paths in Cambridge).
The rest of the ride was then a solo ride for ZigZag and probably anywhere from 5-30min back, myself. I stopped at Cambridge to refuel and then again at the Puckeridge control where I chatted to Tim S of SteamRide audax fame (yes, I’ll probably ride your 300 this year!).
Zoomed back into London after lots of pretty lanes, plains and villages and headed to the organisers house, then trundled up to the pub to officially finish and enjoy some refreshments (he means beer). Spent the time waiting for the other riders to return getting some valuable PBP tips from ZigZag and some of the other riders. Damon Peacock was there with some cameras again and interviewed me! Fame! I wanna live forever… Fame! 😉
A few hours later we headed back to Justin’s place where he’d sorted out beer from a friend at Five Points Brewery as well as a great BBQ. What a great finish to a ride! To be honest I would’ve loved to have done my normal thing and got trashed but I was actually a good boy and chatted more to the friendly folks before riding home to my poor cycling widow.
So, many thanks to ACH and the volunteers and everyone who turned up to ride and be merry, I had a great day out!