This was the emailed report that I sent out shortly after the ride :
Starting at 6am today, Marina Bloom and I rode the tandem tricycle over the London to Oxford and back route. This route is administered by the North & West Home Counties RRA. This was the first ride in the category of mixed Tandem Tricycle (what a surprise), and we didn't have a target to beat. Our schedule was for the 109 miles to take 5 hours.
The first few miles were ridden in the dark, as we set off from Greenford for the 10 miles in to the London turn at Marble Arch. Traffic was quite light, although town-bound flows had noticeably increased when we made our return. By Gerrards Cross (30 miles) we were still on schedule, but had lost several minutes after the climb away from High Wycombe towards Stokenchurch (45 miles).
We had expected the approach to Oxford to be chaotic, but we can only presume that it was the Easter Holiday effect which had reduced traffic levels to a trickle. We had occasionally noticed sections of headwind and tailwind, but there was no obvious breeze. Nevertheless, when we turned at the Magdalen College Tower, we were wondering what sort of conditions would greet us for the remaining 45 miles.
As it happened, we held our deficit at about 5 minutes until returning to the Chilterm escarpment. Once over there, and down into High Wycombe, we were seven minutes adrift. This deficit was pegged at Gerrards Cross, where we had just less than 10 miles remaining. I had been feeling rather fragile for most of the ride, but as the finish approached we were able to eat away into our losses.
We were finally timed in by Frank Cubis, having taken 5 hours 2 minutes 31 seconds.
Afterwards, I vowed (again) that I wouldn't do these early season 100 mile rides any more.
My next outing will be on 21st April, as Dave Johnson and I have a second attempt to beat the Eastern Counties RRA [tandem tricycle] record for London to Cambridge and back (103 m). This is still held by Dick Drury and John Leiper with 4:31:8 from 1974.