Car-free streets

Recent Road Ride for Charity

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I haven’t given this blog much time or attention in recent months. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them is that I was in training for a 100mile charity sportive. The Prudential RideLondon Surrey-100 is a unique event that sees some 20,000 amateur participants cycle around the Olympic course.

I was invited to take part in this event by a friend at PAC, a fantastic charity that specialises in providing innovative and high quality adoption support services. My fundraising target was set at £1000, and I still have some way to go if I am to achieve this. My fundraising page can be found here, and will shortly include a full ride report. The reason for this blog post is to hopefully get the word out there, and maybe attract a few new sponsors 🙂

Here is my story, illustrated by pictures from beginning to end:

The most dangerous part of my training - getting down the stairs in my building!
The most dangerous part of my training – getting down the insanely steep stairs in my building!
My training took place around Holyrood Park in Edinburgh - not a bad place to ride!
The serious part of my training took place around Holyrood Park in Edinburgh – not a bad place to ride!
I also indulged in some more frivolous bike rides, just to get the miles in and keep things interesting!
However, I also indulged in some more frivolous bike rides, just to get the miles in and keep things interesting!
I travelled down to London with my trusty road bike - not a bike I'd usually consider mentioning on this blog
I travelled down to London with my trusty road bike – not a bike I’d usually consider mentioning on this blog
The night before the ride was a festival of carbohydrates - here we have a family-sized portion of spaghetti, topped off with tune, baked beans, tomato paste (for flavour), and pumpkin seeds (for colour).
The night before the ride was a veritable festival of carbohydrates – here we have a family-sized portion of spaghetti, topped off with tuna, cheese, baked beans, tomato paste (for flavour), and pumpkin seeds (for colour). The things we do for charity, eh?
At 03:30 I was awake and realising that I would probably be cycling for longer than I had slept! I surveyed my kit, and just hoped that my preparations had been adequate.
For the 06:30 start, I was awake at 03:30 and realising that I would probably be cycling for longer than I had slept! I surveyed my kit, and just hoped that my preparations had been adequate.
There were around 20,000 riders assembled into starting waves around London's Olympic park. The level of organisation was impressive to say the least
There were around 20,000 riders assembled into various starting waves around London’s Olympic park. The level of organisation was impressive to say the least
Once the klaxon sounded it felt more like a race than a sportive. Looking at my GPS timings, this first section was my fastest, averaging 38.27km/h for the first 17 miles! Riding through traffic-free streets was a rare pleasure
Once the klaxon sounded it felt more like a race than a sportive. Looking at my GPS timings, this first section was my fastest, averaging 38.27km/h for the first 17 miles! Riding through traffic-free streets was a rare pleasure

Here is a link to my GPS timings from the day

Pelotons formed and disbanded as the ride progressed and the rain started...
Pelotons formed and disbanded as the ride progressed and the rain started…
... even small hills started to require 'out of the saddle' riding
… after the 50 mile mark, even small hills started to require ‘out of the saddle’ riding
The rain was relentless, and at times the ride felt like a solo slog
The rain was relentless, and at times the ride felt like a solo slog
I was exhausted but relieved when I returned to London. Seeing familiar landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben lifted my spirits (though my expression doesn't seem to reflect this)
I was exhausted but relieved when I returned to London. Seeing familiar landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben lifted my spirits (though my expression doesn’t seem to reflect this)
Soaked, hungry, and beginning to cramp, I survived hurricane Bertha and crossed the finish line on The Mall. For some it was a moment of triumph, but for me, I was just glad to have survived my first sportive!
Soaked, hungry, and beginning to cramp, I survived hurricane Bertha and crossed the finish line on The Mall. For some it was a moment of triumph, but for me, I was just glad to have survived my first sportive!
Exhausted but happy!
Exhausted but happy!
A nice memento of the day
A nice memento of the day
And here's the route
And the outline of the route around the Surrey countryside

As I mentioned earlier, I did this ride for charity and am still trying to reach my target. Any donation is greatly appreciated, no matter the size – every little helps! Please donate through my VirginMoney page, thank you.

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