And so it begins…

Talking about doing something is all well and good but I suppose it’s about time we started to actually DO something as well.

So yesterday, four of us who are signed up to do The Dutch Raid, a 260 mile, five day bike ride from Chatham to Amsterdam for the British Heart Foundation and Help For Heroes actually went out and spent some time in the saddle. Two of us might have cycled multi-day, long distance rides before, but the others haven’t.

After failing so completely at the John O’Groats to Land’s End last year, I’ve been a bit hesitant to publicise the ride too much. But that’s not going to raise much money now is it? And, I’ve attempted three reasonably long distance rides and completed two of them, so I suppose if I look at it like that it’s not a bad average – if this one works out ok, well then it’ll be three out of four. My K:D ratio can only get better…

Part of completing this one is going to have to be practice.

The first training ride was only 15 miles, and as I’ve already said there were only four of us, not the full six – but it was a nice, fun way to spend a couple of hours. We left the Dockyard and headed through Chatham bus station and over Rochester bridge into Strood. Then we cut up to All Saints church in Frindsbury, took a couple of pictures and set off to Upnor. From there we walked (cycling definitely not possible – I lost a shoe at one point and had to go and retrieve it and the bikes were CAKED in mud after a couple of yards) up the shore of the River Medway to Port Werburgh. Once we got back on solid ground we headed inland to Hoo and then back to Chatham via Chattenden. We did stop at the McDonalds at the Medway Tunnel (because we bloody deserved it!) before doing the last leg of the journey through Medway City Estate and back over Rochester Bridge.

When we got back we cracked out the Muc-Off and GT-85, cleaned and re-oiled the bikes. Mine was sat in a muddy puddle at the end of it. The whole thing was capped off with a hot bath. Good Saturday.

It was a decent first run out, but obviously there will need to be more. Anyway, the links to the Just Giving pages are back up there in the second paragraph. Check them out, support the charities (and us). I’ll leave you with the photos.

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