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Probation Director: 100 miles in just over 5 hours

Posted: 9th August 2013 by Essex CRC.
Probation Director Robin completes 100 miles on a bike
Probation Director Robin completes 100 miles on a bike

Probation Director spends ‘magic day’ cycling for charity:

Why get up at three o’clock on a Sunday morning? An early flight? Heartburn? No, a 100-mile bike ride in London and Surrey: The ‘Prudential RideLondon’. One of Essex Probation’s Directors, Robin Brennan, a keen cyclist, describes raising over £750 in aid of the London Cycling Campaign which aims for safer cycling in the capital.

“While I had always intended stopping for a bacon sandwich somewhere picturesque in Surrey – the top of Box Hill, perhaps – the experience of riding through London at speed on closed roads was just too exhilarating. People were whooping with joy in the tunnels on the A12, leaving Stratford for the City. So I got the bit between my teeth and opted to go as fast as I possibly could.

“At 7.30 am, my supporters were out in Richmond Park to cheer me. While it did cross my mind, as I passed my house, that I might simply go back to bed, I carried on into Surrey and THE HILLS.

“Before the race, looking dubiously at my training record, I thought I might manage the 100 miles in seven hours. But then I completed the first 50 in 2:28 hours and was dizzy with success. I coped with Newlands Corner; Leith Hill (my particular bugbear), and the steady ascent of Box Hill, in the footsteps (not literally, obviously) of cycling’s greats.

“I stopped once to put my chain back on and once for water but the rest of the time – picking up tips from watching the Tour – I tailgated faster riders for as long as my bursting lungs would allow, then waited for another to come past.

“Leatherhead, Cobham, Esher; Kingston for the second time; Wimbledon, Putney Bridge: the towns and landmarks just flew by.

“Everywhere on the route there were spectators in astonishing numbers who had come out simply to cheer on a big bunch of amateur riders. They can’t all have got the times wrong and thought we were the professionals. And then I was riding up Whitehall, under Admiralty Arch, and into the Mall. By this time the crowds were half a dozen deep at the barriers. Five hours and 10 minutes after leaving Stratford, an average of 19.2 mph, and I had crossed the finishing line: a fantastic experience, simply a magic day on a bike.”