“My participation in Prudential’s Ride 100 nearly ended before it started. A broken rear spoke on the 3 mile ride to Stratford virtually stopped my wheel from turning. However once I got to the Blue Starting area I managed to fully release my back brake and the wheel spun round without rubbing. A quick phone call to Trevor confirmed he & Gary were somewhere in the waiting crowd behind me. After an hour or so of jostling forward I eventually got to the start line … And it was still only 7:15.
The start was fast and we were soon swooping down on the wrong side of the A12 towards Blackwall Tunnel ! Soon I would have the first of many pee stops (it’s an age thing ….) and before I knew it was crossing Chiswick Bridge and on into the prosperous Surrey suburbs. The first hill of any note was just before Hub 2 (Newlands Cross) where I queued interminably to get some sustenance … A banana and 3 fig rolls. In front of me were Trevor, Gary and Paul Soor who’d overtaken me whilst I was in a Portaloo ! So nearly 50 miles done and well under 3 hours at this point … However things were to get lumpier and slower from this point ! A further 10 miles or so I started the climb of Leith Hill … Just when you think it’s over you turn a bend and it kicks up again ! Nevertheless with my 34x 23 gearing and very buckled wheel I managed to get up …. whilst many were overgeared and forced to walk. Checking timings later I got to Leith Hill just before 11am – sadly just behind me someone collapsed and died – but of course at that time nobody knew of this incident. After that the ride got easier – a nice swoop through Dorking and onto the nicely surfaced Box Hill
… and then a gentle southerly wind helped on the route back to London – a stiff climb through Wimbledon and then it was just 10 miles to go . Soon the countdown was both in miles and kilometres ( for the benefit of the Pro riders that afternoon) … the last few kilometres seemed to take for ever but eventually a quick excursion past the Houses of Parliament, pavements thronged with bemused tourists, under Admiralty Arch and the finish line on The Mall ! Phew and it was still just after lunchtime …. All finished off with a very slow, leisurely ride home !
And Gary’s total time was 6 hours and 4 mins. If I hadn’t stopped for a last pee and fig roll I might have done it under 6 hours – on the other hand, if I hadn’t stopped I might not have made it at all! From setting off at the start to getting home I used 5860 calories and refuelled with an industrial quantity of beans on toast as soon as I got in.
At the end Paul and I were approached by a lady from Leicester who had spotted our LVYCC shirts. She’d parked her car at the Lea Valley Ice Centre and had no idea how to get back. So escorting her through the traffic back to Lea Valley added a couple of miles to our total distance that I could have done without! At least we managed our good deed for the day. I put on an extra slice of toast and additional half can of beans to cover the effort.