Prudential Ride London 2016 #ScoreSettled

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kit courtesy of Altura. Review soon!
This year was my third attempt at Prudential Ride London.  I have been very lucky enough to have won the ballot entry for three years in a row.  You can read my review of the inaugural event here.  2014 was the year of the hurricane, in which the entire course was cut short to 86 miles.  I was so waterlogged, I didn't write up a review.  Last year, we moved house so training got pushed aside.  We ended up volunteering at the start line, which was a lot of fun even it was early in the morning. Luckily I was able to defer to this year and I am so glad I did.  Read on!

Registration process & fees:  The event is ballot entry, with plenty of charities offering space in return for fundraising.  I have been lucky enough to win a place every year I entered.  I am not sure if that is because I am a woman, or just lucky.  As I had deferred, my money was not refunded from last year and I had to pay again this year.  While not ideal, I completely understand it must cost a fortune to close down to many roads and having staff for 100+ miles.

Note: Registration is now open for 2017.  I am not sure when the ballot will close (either a date or limited number of entries).  Registration for 2017 is £58.

Standstill at Mile 38
Location:  The course has remained the same since the first event.  The start line is in Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford, from there the course goes out to Surrey, and it ends on the Mall just before Buckingham Palace. This year you could have your bike brought back to Copper Box Arena for £5 after your race.  It was a bit hard to find the truck at the end of the race, but it was really convenient for us otherwise as a way to get our bikes back home after a long day.

Course & bogs:  It is still amazing to ride through London streets without traffic or red lights.  You go passed many iconic sights before heading out to the country with the first food hub at Hampton Court.  The big hills to worry about are Leith Hill and Box Hill, with a few other ups and downs.  Be sure to train for these inclines!  Declines are still a hazard, so please ride responsibly.  Remember, other riders around you might be less experienced.

Numerous portaloos at start area and also at every hub.  I barely had to wait and there was always loo roll.  Good work organisers!

Fuel was provided by Clif Bar and hydration by ORS tablets.  There was also rice cakes, bananas, Haribos, malt loaf, etc at the food hubs.  Drinks hubs had a limited selection of food.

THIS YEAR I RODE THE ENTIRE COURSE!  I have been working towards this for 4 years and felt such relief as I crossed the finish line.  True, it wasn't my fault in 2014 that I didn't ride 100 miles, but now I can proudly say I have.  Would I have been able to without my 1 hour rest?  I would like to think so, as I limited my rest stops otherwise.

Atmosphere:  Even though it was an un-Godly hour on a Sunday morning, everyone was excited for the event.  Along the way, there was friendly chatter between friends and strangers.  When I was held up for an hour at Mile 38 after a bad crash, folks were still talking to one another and although they were frustrated, they always got out of the way for police and ambulance without any negative words about the victim.
Drinks Hub at top of Box Hill

Bling/goody bags:  Another big shiny medal with the course on it.  Goody bag included the usual flyers and a few snacks.

Tips if you decide to take part next time:  Read the guidance provided on how to cycle safely and share the road.  I recommend checking out my blog posts tagged 'Ride London' for training and kit tips.  You need to take the training seriously to make it around the course.  It took me 8 hours (one of which was waiting for crash to clear) and I feel like I spent a lot of time in the saddle.  Don't forget to add in strength training to complement your cycling.  Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the ride!

Will I take part again?  I am going to skip the ballot for 2017 and let someone else give it a try.  I really enjoyed the training aspect and will continue to keep it up after the Berlin Marathon in September.  Using cycling as cross training has really benefited my running too.

Thanks to Altura and Zyro for the cycling kit and Merlin Cycles for the new wheels.  Honest reviews on these products up soon.

I did it!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Interesting all that goes into this event!


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