Recently I completed the 10 year anniversary Palace to Palace cycle ride for The Prince's Trust; a 45 mile "Classic" (or 90 mile "Ultra" if you're crazy) route from Buckingham Palace, along the north side of the Thames, through Richmond Park, and out of West London, through Surrey, and in to Windsor.
The Night Before
Realising that although the ride itself would be in daylight, it wasn't until the evening before the ride that I realised I'd be riding to the start line in the dark; and none of my lights worked.
A late night wander around West London promptly ensued to every newsagents and corner shop I could find, trying to rustle up a few of those little round batteries; everywhere I went seemed to have sold out! I was a long walk and a late evening before I got home, batteries in hand.
Tip 1: Check your lights and stock up on batteries well in advance..
The Big Day
Previous years I'd wake up and make banana porridge to give me a good start to the day; unfortunately it was always far too hot to eat before I'd have to leave, so I was running on empty before the day had even started!
I found that the same ingredients – plus a few more – could be made into something much more easily consumed on the morning of the ride: a smoothie.
A couple of handfuls of oats, a banana, some frozen berries, and a spoon or two of some sort of nut butter (peanut, cashew, that sort of thing); whizz it in a blender and pop it in the fridge overnight – you can just down it in the morning whilst pulling on your lycra!
Tip 2: Banana + frozen berry smoothie, not porridge
Leaving my house before 6am on Sunday morning, in the dark and the cold, I had a fantastic ride through central London with barely another vehicle around.
I took a few blurry photos whilst riding along my route to the start line; The Royal Albert Hall, Prince Albert Memorial, The Ritz, and Trafalgar Square – all beautiful in the early morning light.