(lessons learned and pics at the end)
Thrilled to have completed this safely and without wrecking the bike so that Pete and I get to do our End to End.
Training for the last month with the weight of my JOGLE pack must have helped because I was able to finish in 7 hours 33, an av speed including breaks and hold ups of 13.2 mph and an av. cycling speed of about 16 mph!
The night before, Pete and I cycled slowly (stopped for snack in Peckham Rye park) over to Becca and Keith at Deptford Bridge. We all went for supper at Bianco 43 in Greenwich – lovely pizzas for them and wonderful sea bass for me. We had a nice walk back along the river edge but I was very nervous about the upcoming ride – I thought it would be so easy to have an accident and mess up our plans.
Up at 4 30 am, porridge and an egg (as advised by Laura Trott), donned my Serpie gear*, and left Becca’s at 5.45 with my pockets stuffed full of gels and small tuna sandwiches! Pete had kindly agreed to come with me to the start. It was so good to have him with me. We joined waves of riders and all cycled through the Blackwall Tunnel (closed to traffic) together. Finally, arrived at the Olympic Park, 9 miles from Becca’s.
* A great big thank you to Serpentine Running Club. Once I realised that the only kit I could wear comfortably was theirs I contacted them and they kindly let me renew my membership for £12. During the ride numerous people called out their support for me with “Come on Serpie” and “Well done Serpie” – just wonderful.
At the start Pete left me – he had heard about a new local London cycle club, London Velo, and wanted to get back and chat to them and perhaps try a ride – even tho he only had his single speed bike with him. Then he wd meet me at the end.
I set off with my pink G wave to Queen’s “Don’t stop me now” and perfect weather. I had decided on only four loo stops this year and to make the other stops just to give me time to eat a sandwich and a gel. This worked well with my first stop at Hampton Court after 26 miles.
However it was very crowded. I lost count of the number of accidents I saw. Sadly one person died at Leith Hill. The resultant delays and bunching led to a huge number of extra accidents – with people falling off In droves around me. It made me realise that this was not an event to race – far too dangerous for other riders.
The support and music round the full 100 miles was tremendous and made such a difference.
Amazing to come down the Mall – I was able to sprint this year. Went over the finishing line to the Rolling Stones ‘Satisfaction’ and after collecting a very heavy medal I met up with Pete and we sat in the sun in Green Park and watched the men’s London Surrey Classic on the big screen. Finally cycled back with Pete to Balham for a pizza, electrolyte drinks and to apply ice to all my aching bits.
Lessons learned: Dont attempt something as big and risky as the Ride London 100 if you have something important to do a day or so later. The Ride London is far too crowded to try to race.