Three riders embrace the challenge of riding back to their family homes and provide us with new summer ride inspiration.
There are tons of bucket list rides to do—ride up Alpe d’Huez, complete a century and see the Tour—but we found inspiration closer to home, as three Condor owners gave us a new must-do.
Here, we share three stories of riders who took on a point-to-point mission, riding from the capital back to their family homes. Ruth, Gem and Kitty brief us on their rides and motivations, and provide the tips and tricks for plotting homeward travels.
London to Sheffield, 254km
"I was excited to see the landscape changing from suburban London to rural Yorkshire."
Yorkshire-born Gem Atkinson used her Condor Acciaio on a tribute ride for friend Cindy who was recovering in hospital following an accident.
“I thought this would be a super cool way to let her know I was thinking about her as she recovered in hospital. The idea of riding from London to Sheffield in a day resonated with me, as it wasn’t a loop that ended at the start point, rather it was an A to B journey. I was excited to see the landscape changing from suburban London to rural Yorkshire. I stopped for heaps of photos and to enjoy misty hills and deer frolicking in fields.”
“The main choice I had to make was whether to do a significantly longer route heading east then swing back towards Sheffield, avoiding lots of elevation. In the end I decided that a shorter distance during November was probably the most favourable idea.”
Gem's equipment list:
Endurance geometry paired with
Spacious and waterproof, the Seat-Pack fastens securely to the seatpost, no tools needed
London to Liverpool, 382km
"We travelled roads that none of us knew existed. It fills you with love, as you know your family are waiting on the other side (with champagne waiting)"
Kitty Pemberton-Platt coerced two friends into completing the 386km ride back to her family home in Liverpool.
Planning was a three stage process for the trio, first decide the route, find a half way point hotel, and get a checklist. “Finding a cheap hotel that was en route, a room for three, and who would allow bikes, was quite a time-consuming challenge.” The riders set up a WhatsApp group and discussed everything from sharing toiletries to taking flip-flops rather than shoes to save space.
“We discussed logistics more than necessary, but it made us feel as prepared as possible.”
Why plan a ride home?
#scousetour has reminded me that I can fill my days as much as I want with work and personal life, but true fulfilment may not come from doing more but instead focusing more. A focus that is so intensely on one thing, that the miles become meditation."
Kitty's equipment list
Apidura Handlebar Bag
Ultra-light bag that won't upset your bike handling or stability
Wahoo Elemnt GPS Computer
Easy to read display and LED direction indicators
London to Cardiff, 287km
"The ride opened my eyes to how cycling can be an adventure, not just for riding the same Essex loop at weekends, and I’m excited to see what this year brings."
“I put the route together a few months in advance. We paced it well on the day though, ate regularly and planned in stops at petrol stations and cafes.
"It rained all day but that became part of the fun. We arrived at 8pm, soaking wet and freezing, having had 3 punctures, but it was the best ride I’ve ever done.” I found it fun knowing that we were on a secret mission and the day flew by.”
The Tesco baselayer
“Our first two hours riding were through fog. By the first scheduled stop at a 24-hour Tesco in Reading, we were shivering. I bought a £5 Tesco baselayer, and Pete a pair of gloves, which saved us. Garmins and lights were charged en route with USB battery packs strapped to the top tubes while everything else was stashed in jersey pockets.”
Ruth's Equipment List
Racing pedigree with tarmac smoothing nano carbon technology
PEdAL Ed Lightweight Baselayer
Stay cool and dry