Today (June 20) is the Longest Day Of The Year and to make the most of it the MCN team is riding from dawn to dusk, soaking up as much of the 16 hours and 38 minutes of sunlight as possible. Along with regular updates on the site follow us throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #MCNLongestDay and keep up to date with all our riders here.
Despite the always reliable weatherman predicting a solid month of rain starting today, the roads are completely dry as I tuck into a bowl of cereal at 5:30am, wondering how heavy the traffic will be into London this early on a Monday morning.
Of course, as is always the case, the rain starts the moment I put my helmet on, but Online Editor Maria hops on the back of our long term BMW S1000XR and we're quickly making good progress. The XR is the perfect companion for a trip such as this, the up and down quickshifter essentially turning it into a big, stupidly fast scooter. It makes everything so easy. The screen is keeping the worst of the weather off me and traffic is surprisingly light until we get inside the M25.
With 10 miles to go to the world famous Ace Cafe, the roads narrow and the traffic is almost instantly gridlocked. I opted to fit the XR with panniers as the topbox isn't completely waterproof, according to news reporter Andy Downes, and I'm forced to crawl along with the cars as smaller, much narrower bikes scythe past effortlessly.
The rain has lightened up a little, and out of the gloom of the grey Monday morning the Ace Cafe appears, welcoming us into its warmth with coffee and the promise of a second breakfast.
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