My first attempt at the Ride London 100 event came and went last Sunday. I completed the ride, got my medal and goodie bag at the finish and now move on to my next ride, the Tour o’ the Borders on Sunday 9th August 2015.
The event is extremely well run given the vast amount of riders taking part, yes there are long waits at the start, joining your wave and then queuing along with another 25,000 riders to get going. The information before hand is provided with plenty of time ahead of the ride but there still seemed to be so many riders turning up late to avoid having to wait.
We started right on time, at 08.21 heading out through central London with just the odd pedestrian to dodge when they tried to play “chicken” when crossing the road. There was even a lady, riding a mountain bike whilst wearing a pair of kitten heels. Hat off to her but as my cousin said, she was more impressed that I even knew what a pair of kitten heels are ..
It really is an experience to be on closed roads through central London and out to Surrey, the support from the public is superb. But I came away with a slight sense of disappointment. There were at times too many people on the roads, which made it very dangerous, mostly due to other cyclists not paying attention or sticking to the normal rules of the road, blocking faster riders trying to pass or pretending to be Mark Cavendish when clearly they were not. There were just too many crashes for my liking.
But it was also a day tinged with sadness as a participant, Stephen Green collapsed on the lower part of Leith Hill, in the morning. Despite receiving immediate medical attention he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Riders were stopped on the climb following the incident, before a diversion was put in place shortly after. There was some initial frustration from those behind with the slowing and bunching up but that was quickly muted when it was clear there was a serious problem up the road. We all wanted to complete the ride but it was a sad end to the day to learn that a fellow rider had died on the road. It put the day into clear perspective and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Stephen.
Next up for me is the Tour O The Borders on Sunday 9th August. Another 120km ride around the beautiful border region, although being my home region, I might be a little biased. I am looking forward to this one, stunning countryside, closed roads and hopefully some decent weather, should be a great ride! I will let you know how I get on ..
I have also nearly reached my fundraising target for the year of £2,500 and over the last 18 months, I have raised over £4,000 so a huge thank you to all who have donated and supported me along the way.