Monday, 14 June 2010

Essex Way: The hill that keeps on taking

The other week a bunch of us embarked on what turned out to be a 32.4 miles route around south Essex.

A couple of the chaps are doing the London to Southend bike ride in July and need to get a bit of training in, and Boris is actually in the process of writing a book called the Everday Olympian, where, from what I can gather, he undertakes olympic events at his own pace. One of these is 144 miles of cycling.

So I went out with Boris again on Saturday to help him get a few miles closer to his target. Here he is cresting the Essex Way hill, a kilometre-long gradient that starts somewhere near the Hoy and Helmet and has a cheeky bend at the top which succeeds in hiding the last few hundred yards from view, thus sapping your will to live. I have said before that this doesn't even come close to a Tour de France stage. But for some reason that doesn't make it any easier.

It does make the rest of the route more enjoyable, knowing that you've got the biggest hill behind you. Even the dash back along the seafront into a westerly headwind doesn't seem quite as bad.

All the same, when it comes to the reward at the end of the run, there's no way I'm going to share my mackerel and bap with any bird, no matter how cute it looks perched on Boris's handlebars.

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