Early on the 2nd April, 11 intrepid cyclists gathered as CUCC teamed up with Cambridge University Triathlon Club on a voyage to the boat races. Proceedings kicked off with a classic jaunt up chapel hill, perfect to wake us up on our way out of Cambridge. After a mere few miles, most of us realised it was considerably sunnier than we had expected… cue a major kit change for most! Off with the jackets and base layers, on with the sunglasses!
The sun stayed with us as we made our way South, covering the slightly more undulating terrain of Hertfordshire. Having covered roughly two thirds of our distance, we reached St Albans. We found ‘The Mermaid’, where half the group settled down for a pub lunch, pints and all, whilst a second group sought out the more traditional cycling staple: coffee and cake!
Having refuelled and regrouped, we jumped back on the bikes with London firmly in our sights. Before long, we passed the M25 and our ride began to change. Narrow winding roads became a single straight busy road which would take us directly into the centre of London. Progress was marred by traffic light after traffic light. Despite attempting to stick together, Matt and Harshal were lost to what we would later find out was a double puncture.
Finally coming to the end of this seemingly endless road, the Marble Arch appeared before us. A combination of confusing Garmin directions and lack of London knowledge led to much guesswork through the capital, but the views were not compromised. Thinking we were on the mall, some of us initiated a sprint, reminiscent of the final stages of the London 2012 Olympic road race, only to realise this was not in fact the mall, but an adjacent road. Despite this, we soon found our way to Buckingham Palace where we joined the many tourists, taking some all-important ride photos!
After a quick stop at the palace, the ride continued over Westminster bridge before we split off to find various friends at the Putney and Hammersmith bridges. We were greeted by an awesome atmosphere on a beautiful day for the boat races! Huge respect goes to all who competed in the races with particular congratulations in order for both Cambridge women’s boats!
Although I can’t speak for the rest of the group, the journey home came with its own issues, attempting to carry a road bike on the underground whilst others confused my Cambridge cycling shorts for a rowing overall, thinking I had just come from the river.
In all, a great day’s cycling covering 70miles on what couldn’t have been a nicer day. Thanks to all who came, we look forward to cycling with you on touring rides in the future!