Amit and I left London Fields together at 8.15pm. He had already cycled 12 miles from home and was talking about cycling from Dunwich to Ipswich at the end! He had tried to round up a group of his friends from Nottingham Uni but they all chickened out for one reason or another. It was great to have his company for the first 25 miles or so.
I had the route set up in my GPS and used the navigation facility and Amit used the mapping in his GPS so we were able to navigate out of London quite easily.
The rain duly arrived before dark as we were still in London, but was sporadic until we got to Epping when it started raining persistently although lightly.
Amit was capable of faster speeds than me and I encouraged him not to hold back. He stayed around for quite a while but eventually went ahead. Soon I teamed up with a guy called Alex who was a Brazilian by origin, but trained as a lawyer in the US and was working in London.
By the time we got to Sible Hedingham in mid-Essex the rain really set in hard and was to continue all the way to Framlingham in Suffolk. Arrival at the feeding station at Waldingfield at 1am after about 65 miles was a great relief! There by pure chance I sat down opposite Amit and we set off together at about 1.30. The contrast between the warm and very humid conditions in the hall and the cold and driving rain outside left us both feeling the cold when we restarted. A couple of miles of hard pedalling helped to sort that out, but it was difficult to get really warm again.
Amit went ahead after a few miles and I did quite a long section on my own. I was surprised how few people were around at this point, but later discovered that many had dropped out or were delaying leaving the feeding station! Anyway later I teamed up with Wayne, who was of South African origin and working in London and we stayed together right to the finish.
At Peasenhall I had a ‘phone call from my friend Peter Seaman who had got up specially early and cycled from Eye to Needham Market to