Autumn. Leaves have had enough and the weather is noticeably cooler. My training schedule had fallen on hard times, with work travel and daily life, so the thought of a gentle ride out in the Kent countryside with Mr Lowe was appealing. Dullwich Paragon’s ‘Ride of the Falling Leaves‘ was happening and I thought ‘why not?’
We met up with Paul and drove down to Herne hill Velodrome. I’d never been before and it was great to see such a stunning track and buzzing atmosphere.
The Dullwich Paragon lot had made sure the entry was easy enough, and free coffee and breakfast was available at the start, alongside a mechanic to fix any last minute mechanical issues you might have had.Once you decided to start, you had to do a lap of the velodrome and then exited out of the complex and onto the roads. On a personal note, the track was brilliant to ride and really made my morning.
My legs felt a bit crap, just didn’t have the energy in them as I would have liked and thankfully we rode at a social pace to start. A few of Paul’s work friends rode with us and one chap was an old school cafe racer from back in the day. Was pretty cool to see the old fellas riding in front and whizzing all over the place, armed with their stories of yesteryear racing. So back to the riding and all was going peachy until we hit that first hill, I believe many who ride down south know it well, alas I didn’t and excuse me but faaaaakin’ hell, did those legs scream.
Needless to say, I’m not a climber and to be honest, have no intention of ever being one. This frame is not meant for lugging itself up hills, give me flats any day.
Once I’d cried over the fact the hills were making me feel inferior, the rest of the route was rather enjoyable. It’s amazing how much good riding is on tap here in the UK, sure, you don’t have the monster mountains that our cousins on the continent do, but we do make up for it with some stunning scenery.
Paul and I eventually went over the line in 4:05, which wasn’t exactly my fastest time but hey, the ride was enjoyable and for a Sunday morning, what more could you want?