As a former Kapiti Cycle Club member now living in London I though you might like to hear about the exploits of myself and more importantly my Kapiti Cycle Club Jersey - the extra long one (thanks Bob)
The London to Southend is advertised as a 59mile (95km) fundraising fun ride fom Victoria Park in east London to Priory Park at Southend by the Thames esturay. I rode with my colleague Keith Morton who also happens to live near me in Gidea Park which is about 1/3 of the way from London to Southend. Keith is a bit of a cycle nut an rides to our office every day 15miles (25km) each way including when it's snowing. I do the same but only when it's sensible (i.e. not snowing). The video is from Keith's handle bar mounted camers and I'm the black bike that's in the picture quite a lot.
Well Sundays ride was great. Almost perfect conditions: little wind except for the last 10km, low to mid 20s and patchy overcast skys. We headed off from home at 6:40am for a warmup ride to the start planning to take it easy - we covered the 20km "warm up" in under just over 40 mins, so much for taking it easy (oops).
After fueling up, signing in, etc we set off through east London stopping at endless traffic lights, etc and each time having the same set of slower riders push to the front before being passed by us again and again. Finally we broke free of the city and onto country lanes where we could properly "stretch our legs". Had a fantastic ride passing all manner of people on route and having a great time.
The last 10km was into a head wind (the kind that is typically encountered on weekend rides round Kapiti) but most cyclists here seem to really struggle with the wind. It's funny but despite not riding in much wind for 2.5 years my legs seemed to remember what it's about and just got on with it and I had Keith a a few others sitting on my wheel.
We crossed the finish line 52miles/83km later in 2hrs 44mins averaging 19.5mph or 31km/h :-)
To finish the day Keith, the camera man, rode home to round off a 100 miles (160kms) for the day where as I was meeting the family at the beach (after a 15km warm down ride).