Having spent weeks fine tuning my bicycle, clocking up the riding miles and blackmailing friends and family for sponsorships, the day of my “bicycle race” had arrived. With my preparations complete; costume ready to go, a carb-loaded dinner of pizza and chips eaten, and my alarm set for a ridiculously early hour, I was ready.
Helmet donned, sat nav taped to my bike and friends waving me off on my way, I set off to start my 120 mile journey to the Dominion Theatre. My route took me through Coventry on some very main roads on which I received many strange looks, toots and honks. 20 miles into the ride, however, disaster struck. The battery of the sat nav I was borrowing had died. It was up to my Rock You honing instincts and a very large sign telling me London was 101 miles away to get me to my destination.
With the hottest day of the year so far heating up, I made sure I stopped regularly for water, jelly babies and of course; to update my 30 followers on Twitter my location and state of mind! Cycling mile after mile along the A5, I was on schedule to arrive well within enough time to relax before the show, and was thoroughly enjoying the day.
All seemed to be going far too well, and of course, my luck couldn’t hold out forever. In St. Albans, a mere 12 miles away from my destination, it became increasingly clear to me that the only sign posts for London were for the motorways, which unfortunately do not cater to cyclists. Using my tired instincts and my very male-attitude when it comes to asking for directions, I got lost. Very lost. By picking a direction (the wrong one) and just cycling, I managed to exceed my 120 mile marker by another 12 before I realised that my Blackberry has Google Maps! With a route programmed in, I was back on track, and eventually saw the most beautiful road sign; “London Road.” Making sure it was not a mirage; I followed this road into central London- Rush Hour. Dodging in and out of the commuters I made my final approach towards the man with the Freddie sign, The Dominion Theatre.
Upon my eventual arrival at the Dominion, nearly 12 hours after setting off from Birmingham, I barely had time to phone my Mum to give her 3 rings to let her know I arrived safely, before the show was due to start. With my bike locked, and half a can of deodorant used to mask the stench of the past 132 miles, I took my seat, sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the show. And what a treat of a show.
Thanks to all who sponsored and supported me, all in all I raised £415.24, amazing! A special thanks has to go to Ami, Amy, Sam and Lou for sharing the evening with me.