So, I did the 26 mile (46.2km actually according to my cycle computer) Bikeathon, having cycled some 20km to get to the train in the first place due to engineering works, another 8km at the other end to and from the station, and then 5km from the train station home (I used a different station).
It was a nice route, well signposted, with only one unclear part on the return leg. The route took me from Chelsea, up to Smithfield Market, around the Isle of Dogs, then to the Thames Barrier. Evans cycles were there, and they did a 'tune up' of the bike (a new bike should be checked after some distance, and this was a free check!).
The route returned through the City (I stopped in Evans Cycles' City branch as I'd lost a bolt on my cycle rack, the tuneup people didn't have a spare. The guy in the City branch gave me a new bolt in goodwill). Kudos to Evans Cycles for being helpful without fuss or bother. This earned them a lot of goodwill. Okay, admittedly that was the point of them sponsoring the event and doing their 'surgeries' - but the guy in the City branch didn't have to sort out my rack for me.
As the end of the course approached, I did feel weary - but Monica was there to meet me, which was most welcome.
Returning home, she wasn't on a bike, so I cycled to Clapham Junction whilst she walked and took the bus. I got there in plenty of time, allowing me to refuel with a pastie. She arrived in the nick of time and we both got the same train home.
There were engineering works for our station, so Monica got off 20km away and used the train replacement bus service. I was tired and so stayed on the train (which went down a different branch) and cycled 5km back. She arrived just before me, I was slow.
On the way back, I was almost taken out by a guy in a black estate car who decided to emerge the wrong way from a one-way street at a high speed as I was about to cross it (having looked that way and then, seeing it was one-way, concentrated on the cars coming from the right). This wouldn't have been a good end to the day - but fortunately, he missed. There are some real dangers out there. This wasn't a function of the bike though, he was at a speed to have been a danger to crossing pedestrian or any other road-user.
Anyhow. I've got a medal... I wore it all evening as I dozed. That's not tragic, is it?
My sponsorship site is still open (until October this year), so please visit it to help Leukaemia Research.