With only 2 possible days available this month to get the 12th and final imperial century challenge ride in, and the Met Office suggesting nothing too bad today, I duly forced myself out of bed at 0520hrs this morning. The Van Nic was suitably prepared last night, and given the mild weather it was shorts and arm/knee warmers with the windproof gilet (wet weather coat tucked in the back just in case...). So much for no rain, I headed out at 0559hrs into that horrible fine rain, enough to get damp, not enough for wet gear A quick lap around Egham and Staines to find out that it was indeed very windy before heading up to Windsor Great Park, arriving whilst still dark, but the gate was open so I ignored the 'No Cyclists or pedestrians between dusk and dawn' sign and had a very nice, though blustery, ride through a very empty park. Out the other side and off through Winkfield, Shurlock Row and Hurst along familiar and nice roads, tacking to avoid going directly into the wind. A new lane for me just to the West of Hurst, and warnings of a ford in 900 yards, which I thought I'd gone past, until I found the real one. Oh dear, it was fast flowing and 2.5ft deep with no bridge next to it, so backtracked following the diversion signs and eventually got to the other side. Looking back to where I'd come from, the ford across Old River Quick bit of fruit malt loaf, then onwards through Woodley, Sonning, Emmer Green and Caversham, before heading South through Reading. Far too much residential riding but it does gather the squares. After more housing estates around Whitley and Lower Early it was off towards familiar roads, and the Lockey Farm coffee shop at Aborfield. Serious let down today, only 1 cake, too many screaming kids to sit inside with, so a cup of coffee and rather dry coffee and walnut cake outside. With 61 miles done I was feeling cold, so got a shufty on through Sindlesham before Northwards to Drift Road. Rather thought I'd have a tailwind along this one today but instead a cross wind, no fun really. Found myself at the Dukes Lane gate of WGP with 80 miles done and feeling really quite sick, I reckon I over did the pace a bit. Emergency Snickers and a couple of park loops before home. 101.1 miles at 15.3mph, the fastest I've done it by quite a margin. Couple of hours kip on the sofa and feeling more human again. That's one challenge done for 2018, maybe roll on 2019 for this one??? Edit:- I forgot. Nabbed 25 new squares. And the Garmin stopped recording any for of height gain after about 600m, very annoying.