My good friend Helen, known as Auntie Helen to her on-line friends, has just completed an epic 700-mile solo ride from Berlin to London. Helen’s blog can be read here.
Yesterday was her final leg, from her home in Little Bromley, north of Colchester, via the new Personnel Recovery Unit at Colchester Barracks (Helen was raising money for the Help for Heroes charity) to Trafalgar Square. A number of other cyclists joined her for all, or some, of this route. We were not helped by the perennial uselessness of our rail companies, who were not offering a service to Colchester yesterday. I met another friend, Jane, at Shenfield station and together we rode out towards Helen. We shortly met Del, another of our cycling friends, who had a similar intention, and three of us headed north-east to an 11ses stop at Hanningfield Reservoir before a rendez-vous with Helen and two others in East Hanningfield. At this point Del peeled off whereas the five of us (Helen’s friends Mark and Martin were the other two) made for Ingatestone Garden Centre for lunch, where yet another of our friends, Jurek, was waiting for us.
From Ingatestone we six, led by Jurek, who was familiar with the route, rode into London via the not-especailly-attractive route of Shenfield, Brentwood, Harold Wood, Romford, Ilford, Stratford, Tower Hill and the Embankment, arriving in Trafalgar Square just before 6 p.m. Some members of Helen’s family were there, and a representative form Help for Heroes presented Helen with a certificate and medal.
I left them to it at around 6.15 and arrived in Lpoo St in time for the 6.45 train, alighting at Rochford so that the ride home should push my daily total above 63 miles, ensuring a “metric century” for the day.