Finished the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 Mile Bike Ride 2023

This turned out to be probably the hardest endurance event have ever done, but managed to complete the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 Mile cycling event! Reasons for such difficulty were :

  1. Not enough training rides – I did a whole 3 practice rides in total before the event – the longest one being 65miles and that was about 6 weeks before. This was due to a lot going on the previous month(including driving to Switzerland and back) and not having enough spare days to train. So my bike training for a 100 mile century ride was 1 x 38 mile ride out to Redhill Aerodrome and back, 1 x 65 mile ride from Worcester Park to Milton Keynes, 1 x 38 miler around Box Hill and back via Epsom.
  2. Moved house 2 days before – yeah great timing 🙂
  3. Hardly slept the night before – so was quite tired for most of the ride – didn’t get to bed until around midnight due to sorting out new house stuff and then woke up at 4am as had forgotten to prepare some food for the day – usually sleep quite well the night before events like this, but this night, I was wired.

Anyways I got up at 5:20am – there were allegedly 3 trains from Wimbledon(or Raynes Park) station on a Sunday morning that would get me to the race start on time – one at 5:56am, 6:17am and 7:08am. Despite the race email saying my arrival time at Buckingham Palace should be 7:50am, I opted on the side of caution and went for the 5:56am train, but when I got to the station there were NO TRAINS! :O

Scafell Pike Hike Episode 1 or How To Get Lost On The Mountains In The Fog On Your Own At Night

This is the account of my lone and somewhat disastrous first attempt to climb Scafell Pike in November 2007. It was quite an adventure and I’ve retold the story numerous times over the years, but here it is written down for the first time, proudly presented in the knowledge that most regular Lake District hikers will consider this tale sheer idiocy 😀

The Scenario

That day I was alone, nobody knew where I was or where I was going, as I hadn’t told anyone. The mountains were quite empty too, being November 2007. The day before I may have told my Dad I was heading to the Lake District, but that was about it. My provisions included some chocolate, some biscuits, some bread “sandwiches”, some Kendal Mint Cake and some water. The weather was quite pleasant to start with and I set out reasonably early for once. Having not hiked a proper mountain for a quite a while, I thought it would only take a few hours to climb England’s highest mountain and using the official Scafell Pike Ordnance Survey map, assumed the trek to be fairly straight-forward. How wrong I was!

Visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina

Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.

Crossing the Jordan – Israel border on foot – April 2019

In April 2019, I crossed the King Hussein Bridge from Jordan into Israel. There are a couple of other blogs out there I found, but none seemed to give as much detail as would like to have had, so here is my account.

Notes and Preparations

This blog details the crossing at the King Hussein Bridge (also known as the Allenby Bridge) from Jordan into Israel. There are other border points, but this is meant to be the easiest one, as long as you already have a Jordan entry stamp/visa*. All you really need is to be somewhat prepared and to have some patience. Please make sure to know details about your trip to Israel, as you will be asked – which hostel/hotel you’re staying in, what you will be doing there and how long you’ll be there. Also have a copy on your phone or printed-out of your return flights if possible + make sure to have some cash on you to pay for the bus crossing. There is a Bank of Jordan at the border, but having some cash to start with, saves any extra bother(there are several ATMs in central Amman). Due to the interview and times taken give yourself about 4 hours to cross this border.

* = you usually get a Jordan entry stamp/visa on arrival at the airport or wherever. If you do not have one, then use another crossing, as the King Hussein Bridge does not issue visas.

53 Days Running in a Row!

My old house mate Henry has taken up running and as usual he’s really going for it. Hadn’t seen him in a while and he tells me he’s running like 4 or 5 days a week! To me this was amazing! Why? Well, I’ve always liked running, with the pinnacle being winning the 100metres and the 4x100m relay at sports day as a kid. Also over the years have done Park Runs, various 5kms, 10k’s and half-marathons + have run the London Marathon back in 2011 and Stockholm Marathon in 2018, BUT have never trained more than 2 or 3 days a week, except one possible time when I think I ran for 4 days in a week, but that was as a test to absolutely force myself. Anyways…

Did the 2018 Prudential Ride 100 Surrey

After running the Stockholm Marathon and returning from a bit of travel around Scandinavia, next athletic ‘task’ was to train for the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey bike ride. Had a whole month and a half for that one. Done a lot of biking in my time, espec as a teenager with my bike expert friend Ben Hall, but have only biked over 50 miles in one day 3 times – twice for the London to Brighton bike ride and once this May, with my brother-in-law(Stephen) from Milton Keynes to Wimbledon(81miles). I don’t actually own a racing bike, my bike is a Boardman RaceMX hybrid, but that thing is a bit heavy for proper long-distance, so earlier this year I managed to borrow my nephew-in-law’s white Bianchi, which is rather a nice and much lighter bike. Thanks to this and inspite of Wimbledon tennis and the football World Cup being huge distractions, I completed the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey! 

Scafell Pike Round 2 – Lake District Trip Blog

This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.

Tues 14th Feb 2017

The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster!

3 Month Marathon Plan Summary

In summary, here was my marathon training diary from 2011. I kind of only planned the big distances, mainly basing them around and wanting to be able to run a distance of approx 20miles one month before the actual marathon date. Running is different for everyone, my only tip really is do try to get the big distance 2-3 hour runs done – the 10,16 and 20milers – they are tough and somewhat daunting, but try to keep relaxed, take it easy and just do them. You’ll look back and find them well worth it on the day. Looking back now, it’s amazing what you can actually do.

London to Paris Bike Ride May 2016

My brother-in-law Stephen and I spent 8 days cycling from London to Paris – catching the Eurostar back. Starting at Wimbledon(London), we cycled to New Haven, caught the ferry to Dieppe and then followed the L’Avenue Verte cycle path to Paris. We wanted to take it easy, enjoy the ride and scenary, but make it a bit of an adventure too, so only booked accommodation the first and last nights. It turned out to be a very pleasant trip and despite leaving later than expected on Day 1 and one night in France where we spent about 2 hours desperately searching for somewhere to stay, I’d totally recommend what we did. The furthest distance we cycled in a day was a bit over 55miles.