The weekend before last Hazel and I cycled 67 miles around London overnight and managed to raise over £500 for Shelter while we did it (you can still add to that number if you haven't already and are suitably impressed).
Thanks so much to everyone who was kind enough to sponsor us.
Here's some hastily thrown together thoughts/memories:
We took the train to our starting point at Crystal Palace, there were plenty of other cyclists waiting to get on the train at Clapham Junction, but luckily not so many that we didn't fit on the train. The start point was a little chaotic but that did mean that we managed to set off a bit earlier than our scheduled departure time of 23:50:
The cycle through the south-east of London was a revelation, so many bits I didn't know and some of them, such as Blackheath, were very lovely indeed. We crossed the river for the first time (out of four!) at Tower Bridge:
We cycled through the city and then stopped in Shoreditch to buy bagels (pronounced bag-els), we then cylced on to Mile End stadium where we ate them.
We then cycled through Canary Wharf before heading up to Ally Pally - and I mean up - but we both managed to get to reach the top without getting off to push and rewarded ourselves with some chocolate before heading on... up another hill - we had been fooled into thinking that Alexandra Palace was the top of our ride... we were sadly mistaken.
Luckily there was then a lovely long downhill run from Hampstead to Camden. We crossed the river again over Waterloo Bridge, the sun had only recently risen and the view from the bridge was stunning - it was genuinely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful experiences!
We stopped at The Imperial War Museum for a coffee and then crossed the river again (Westminster Bridge) and again (Chelsea Bridge) before the final climb to our finish back at Crystal Palace, where we were met with my dad (and his car!) - we skipped the complimentary "breakfast" as the queues were too long - and headed home for more bagels (as if we'd buy just one each!).
Despite it being overnight there were still too many cars around, and it seemed an even higher proportion of idiots driving them than usual. It was enjoyable and satisfying but not something I'm in a hurry to repeat.