There is a cure though. Unfortunately (for some) that cure is to just get on and do it!
This 'idea' was a bike ride (no surprises) - or to put it more specifically; two bike rides joined back to back.
People often commit themselves to the famous British Heart Foundation "London to Brighton" route, or to the lesser known BHF "London to Brighton OFF ROAD" route.
I had it in my head to do BOTH, in one go! About 135 miles. Hmm....
The furthest I'd previously ridden was 100 miles for the South Downs Way, which was all off road. I'm currently feeling the fittest I've been in a long while, and with about 50% of this route being on road/flat gravel paths, I thought it's be a laugh to do it all in one go!
The plan was to give this ride a go during my week off (which was last week, though it did involve working on Wednesday...oh wells...), so I packed Bex and Miles off to the in-laws on Wed eve, so that I could mentally and physically prep for the ride (I'm not really sure what that would entail - a glass of wine and some naff TV is preparation I suppose?!). Pretty much as I'd expected, I was a bag of nervous energy all night, had naff all sleep (just like the SDW) and had random dreams that included turning up at the start point in Brighton sans bike... Odd.
I'd set the alarm nice and early, and was aiming for the 0630 train from Goring to Brighton - of course I was awake from about 5ish, so just faffed about the house, showered, then headed off - I scoffed my PB and nutella wraps on the train..
I set off from Madeira Drive at about 0720 - It was freezing heading from the station and along Brighton seafront, but as soon as I started climbing out of Moulscombe towards the M27 I hit my typical "freezing -> overheat" phase so stripped off the soft-shell and strapped it to the top of the rack bag (where it stayed for the rest of the day!). Annoyingly I also must have knocked the GPS and stopped the timer- only realising this just before Ditchling Beacon - not a big deal, but it missed a few km.
The views from the top, just before the descent, were ore-sum..
For the next few miles the route travels 'alongside' the M23, and once you cross under it, there's the mental 'boost' knowing the M25 isn't too far away!
The rape fields near the M23 were beautiful.
It's surprising the differing 'vistas' this route offers, as cycling inwards from the M25 really shows the 'spread of wealth' this country has - you ride past trillion pound houses with iron gates, and then you're 'locking your rack bag' and avoiding eye contact as you pass through more 'densely populated' high streets (you know I'm only making a comment regarding the 'spread of wealth' here, rather than a "classist slur"..!!)
After not a great deal of time I'd made it to Clapham Common, and popped into the cafe on the green, and had a crap cup of coffee, a greasy breakfast roll, and an OK shortbread...
The fair wasn't yet set up..which was sad..
Anyway..once I'd passed through the Uni, you get to the beautiful Richmond park, packed with walkers, deer, and uber keen MAMILS on time trial bikes... And me, on my heavy old DrFine!
The Thames Path things was lovely to ride along, and was a very pleasant way of getting the miles in without too much trouble.
I'd just climbed up and over into Shere, so stopped for an espresso and some more water (I'd also had a coffee and filled up water just past Weybridge too..)
After Shere there's a fair sized wooded area, which again was a bit of a chore, but I knew Cranleigh wasn't too far away. Not that I like/dislike anything about Cranleigh, but I knew the Downs Link kicked off from there..
On most days the Downs link would win the award for 'most boring trail ever', but it's pancake nature was seeming very appealing at this point today!
Turning off the road and onto the old railway line was a 'big point' in the day. Yes, there was still about 33 miles to go from here, but it's as close as being 'on road, but off road' as you can get!
It was just a case of mashing out the miles from now, and although at no point was I threatening my Downs link KOM, I was enjoying the ability to simply sit and pedal!
Although my legs weren't 'tired' per se, my knees were killing my, but brufen and co-codamol got me through this final leg!
At the top were a few riders (I think one of the Pivot Boompod chaps was there too?), and we all headed up towards Truleigh Hostel (not like that..)
The whole Strava ride is here, and according to that it was 212km in just over 10 hours moving time. According to my watch it was about 11 1/2 hours from start to finish, with numerous lunch/photo/coffee/pee stops. If one wanted to, this could be a real 'smash it out' challenge, but you'd be better off on a specific CX bike, and having that sort of attitude - I just wanted to enjoy my day off on my bike!
It's great having the fitness to manage this sort of thing - I felt much 'better' after this than the SDW, and although it was 'pain' rather than fatigue in my knees, I still felt good the following day.
Plus - the great advantage of knocking out 130+ miles is that you can eat like an absolute pig for the following day...and still be hungry!! Awesome!
For those interested, the .gpx links are here (right click and save as, or else you'll just get a page of text that unless you're Neo, will be useless..):
biketoaster, or spend some money and get the very good Memory Map to make them work/play about with, and generally give this a go!