Cycling

Prudential Ride London

I rode the original Prudential Ride London sportive on three occasions. This used the same roads as the 2012 London Olympic Road Race but started at the Olympic Stadium (rather than The Mall). The 100 mile route took in three climbs Newlands Corner, Leith Hill and Box Hill.

2014

In 2014 I took a charity place with Asthma UK after failing to win a place in the ballot. Robert persuaded me to do the ride, which at that time was a daunting prospect. He won a ballot place, but as his start time was earlier than mine we planned to meet on the ride. This didn’t happen as I got delayed behind a big crash in Richmond Park. So we didn’t see one another from start to finish!

The weather was grim in 2014 and the organisers decided to shorten the route by cutting out Leith Hill and Box Hill. At the time I was quietly pleased but at the finish I did feel cheated and decided that I would at some point ride the full route.

An enjoyable if tough day, with strong winds and drizzle to start, a downpour during the early part of the ride and while stationary in Richmond Park which killed my phone, and then bright sunshine for the final part of the route with huge crowds. Great fun. I took xxxxx to complete the 86 mile shortened route.

Of course the weather hadn’t finished with me – a short sharp thunderstorm soaking me in Green Park as I collected my bag and arranging to meet the family.

The Finish on The Mall
The Finish on The Mall in 2014

My memories of the weekend:

  • Staying at 1, Oaklands Road with Harry.
  • Robert and I meeting up with Mark to travel to Excel to collect our bibs and then having a pub lunch near the Tower of London after seeing the poppies.
  • Being driven in by Carol to be dropped close to Mark’s flat and then riding with Robert to the start. Robert getting a puncture and fixing it by the roadside.
  • Carol meeting Mark to spectate and parking in the park.
  • All meeting up after the ride after some confusion between Wellington Arch and Admiralty Arch at the Asthma UK reception, eating pasta and getting a massage.
  • Back to Oaklands for lasagne, a bottle of Black Sheep and some sleep!

I raised a total of £xxxx for Asthma UK. Robert raised ?

2016

After failing to win a ballot place I decided to enter the ballot for the new 46 mile shorter distance and was successful.

I travelled in to park at the Millenium Dome after staying with Mark at his house in Crayford that he had just moved in to. Steve was there too, helping Mark with the renovation of the kitchen.

Best memory was riding through the ? tunnel from the car park to the start! Quite a blast. Obviously much shorter route and no big hills but I still think the average speed I achieved was as much due to my accumulated fitness as the shorter event.

2019

I still wanted to ride the full 100 mile route and it was clear that this was only going to happen if I took a charity place again. I decided to take a place with Diabetes UK in memory of my mother and youngest brother Roger who both died in 2018 and had Type 2 diabetes as does Steve.

The charity were brilliant, with lots of communication and organising a day at the Olympic Cycling Centre which I went to with Mark and where we got the chance to ride the outdoor track.

Thanks to many sponsors and a succesful raffle at the quiz night at Springtime in Shropshire I raised a total of £.

Once again I was destined not to ride the full route. I was stopped behind a crash at the bottom of the descent of Leith Hill for 40 minutes and when I got to Box Hill I was diverted so the total distance I rode was about 96?

Memories of the weekend:

  • Staying with Mark and Harriet in Crayford
  • Riding Boardman ‘Black Beauty’ as the Trek was in for a bottom bracket repair – being phoned by Climb on Bikes on Friday as I travelled in to Excel by train to collect my bib to say I could collect the Trek as it was ready – a bit late!
  • Mark dropping me off at some silly hour to ride the last x miles to the start along the line of Bazelgettes sewer.
  • Delays and walking due to congestion on pinch points on the route.
  • Speaking to Lee and Fay as I passed them somewhere on the way out towards Newlands Corner.
  • The climb of Leith from Abinger Hammer.
  • Eating my peanut butter sandwiches as I waited to be allowed to continue from the crash – I was right at the front so must have been one of the first to be affected.
  • Flat out blast from the crash through Dorking to the base of Box Hill but too late! Very disappointed and falling out of love with Ride London.
  • Support from Carol, Mark and Harriet at a time when once again I was caught up in heavy cycling traffic.
  • Riding back to meet Mark at the south side of the foot tunnel with a Garmin that wasn’t navigating very well and I was just about finished too! Having to climb the steps at the tunnel carrying my bike as the lift was out of order.
  • Dinner with Carol, Mark and Harriet at ??? steakhouse.
The Finish of Ride London in 2019.

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