August 4, 2017 at 10:56 am #18746
My Pru100 report is not as impressive as most, but I like the notion of moving-time – gravitational wave space-time and all that 🙂
So without further ado – elapsed time 9hr 25min! – moving-time a more respectable 6hrs 50 mins.
My analyst said it would feel better getting that off my chest.
I got a team place with my other club (LEC) and my wife Nicky via the ballot with a 90 min start time difference to contend with.
3.30 am weather check – raining like a Hollywood film – back to bed – dam we have a cycle adventure ahead.
We set out at 03:40 to meet the rest of the team at Woolwich foot tunnel.
Thankfully, the weather had eased to a light rain and once North of the river it had all but stopped.
Nicky blagged her way along the waves at the start and reduced our time difference to 35 mins.
I got to our meeting point in Pall Mall covering the 11 miles at a steady pace.
We then set off ‘proper’ and averaged 18-20 mph through to Newlands Corner.
So far so good and a really good feeling sweeping through London on the closed roads.
Did I forget to mention that Nicky was riding against her Doctors advice, please do not tell the organisers.
Three weeks ago Nicky came off her bike and hurt her hip badly. I delayed writing this until her consultant follow-up yesterday.
However, the 110 miles (don’t forget getting to the Olympic Park) probably just ‘interrupted’ her recovery.
No question of Nicky pulling out with £700 plus sponsorship to earn for Action for Epilepsy.
I committed to staying with her for moral and mechanical support (another 20 mins off elapsed time – puncture at 80 miles).
By Newlands Corner the industrial Pain Killing and anti-Inflammatory pills had worn off.
The second half was a leisurely ride for me rarely going above 12 mph, but a battle of wills for Nicky, well done for keeping with it Nicky.
Long stops at most of the remaining hubs and watering holes accounted for our second half non-moving time. Rest and liberal application of deep heat numbing cream.
A very different Pru100 for us, very enjoyable for me with plenty of time to take in the lovely Surrey Hills scenery and the wonderful supportive crowds.
August 1, 2017 at 4:56 am #18724
3 am wake up call, howling winds and rain outside… can I pretend to have not heard my alarm and go back to sleep! This is the first time I have managed to get a ballot place in Ride London so I’ve been looking forward to it so dragged myself out of the door. The ride ahead was enough so I drove and parked up at Surrey Quays and rode the rest of the way via rotherhithe tunnel.
Made it to the start line in Wave B so I was away by 6am, first 10 miles were frenetic and done in 26 minutes, after 30-40 miles I decided I’d let a particular train go for fear of overcooking it, until the Bill and Jonny express can steaming past so I hopped back on. Alas an unavoidable pit stop was required so had to let them go on. 50 miles flew by with an average speed of 22 mph on my garmin! My Alps trip has distorted my judgement of hills, I was sure Leith Hill was longer but it was over just as I thought it was getting started! After the hills it was the run in back north to London. I’m not ashamed but I sucked wheels, I got in a strong group led by an RAF squadron who hammered it home. By Wimbledon the group fractured so I was on my own. Hadn’t thought about a time goal, but it was clear at this point sub 5 was on, so put my head down and buried myself dragging a few people along in the process. Had great fun steaming round the bends through the towns and soon hit the embankment. Up Whitehall I left abit of distance between the rider ahead so I had the mall all to myself. Finished in 4:47 moving time. Luckily I didn’t see any crashes or dangerous riding so throughly enjoyed my ride 99.2 experience.
The hardest point of the day was finding the food vans at the end with Jonnie!
July 31, 2017 at 10:20 pm #18722
A quick G2 Report:
Five of us (Jo; Stu; Rob; John; SC) made it to the top of Cudham with a strong pace being set. So strong that we soon caught G1 who had set off a few minutes prior to us. So we knocked it down a touch and concentrated on keeping together as a tight group as much as we could. Navigating on open source Garmin mapping thanks to Simon L we made it to Tulley’s barely putting a foot wrong. A swift stop for tea and cake and we repeated our close riding/successful navigating back home via Lingfield and Limpsfield Chart. Stu had a little meeting with the man with the hammer (google it if you need) as he ran low on blood sugar but clung on through Pilgrims and Star Hill to ensure he could make the pub for refuelling.
A fine ride on a fine day with us riding well as a group and all of us taking our turns on the front. A good route too, taking us home on the little used Pains Hill and St Pier’s Lane – Thanks to G1 for that. Thanks also to all my riding companions for a very satisfying outing.
July 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm #18719
From numerous STRAVA ride uploads it looks like many club friends had a good ride yesterday.
My Ride London 100 experience was as follows, with I am sure updates from my fellow team members to come shortly.
With a 6am start time we needed to be in place by 5:20am at the latest, so with that in mind Andrew Spencer and I set off from Orpington at 3:50am. You probably didn’t hear it, but to say it was chucking it down why I woke up at 2:30am was putting it lightly. Thankfully the intensity of the rain eased a bit and we even enjoyed a part of the ride to Stratford rain free. We quickly made any clothing changes and left baggage with the lorry and made it to our wave start area just in time. With Paul living closer and Johnny staying with a relative just down the road they met us in the start wave area fairly easily.
With what I can only describe as a bad pub DJ playing Agadoo our group started off on time at 6am. Just before that the first groups were escorted out by a lead car as there were reports of flooded roads etc.
Our team and the rest of our wave started off cautiously, but within a couple of miles things hotted up and I found myself chasing Johnny’s rear wheel through the puddles at speed. We navigated our way through some mixed speed/ability groups and found some open road where the pace picked up. We found some decent groups to work with and at times found our average speed fluctuating between 25-30mph, but soon after the groups were fewer and far between with Johnny and I doing the majority of the pulling on the front with at times 20-30 riders tucking in behind us. I guess that was the only downside to an earlier start time, with less riders ahead of you to form groups as you catch them. Things carried on at speed and soon we enjoyed the scenery of Richmond Park, where at this point a previous passenger on our train decided to jump us and leave us behind. You can imagine this was greatly appreciated, so Johnny and I chased him down and before long he was towing us along for several miles. With slightly changed personnel in our group we caught the group with Nolan Wilkens in at West Byfleet then the groups split again. (Looking strong Nolan). We continued along comfortably undertook the challenges of Newlands Corner Hill, Leith Hill then Box Hill with a quick water and loo stop at the usual spot to save time waiting at the official feed stop just around the corner. We then led a group along the ridge and back towards Leatherhead etc…
The blast back to London certainly gained pace with Johnny and I doing a lot of work, but soon after we remembered not to do so much work again and we sat in for a bit. Catching other riders and groups our group got a little bit disjointed which I think caused my group to split from Johnny’s half of the group. I ended up jumping from group to group not realising the split had occurred and ended up finishing separately from Johnny, sorry mate.
Once we hit London the red mist descended and it was everyone for themselves, so I dropped down the rear sprocket to catch a group further down the road. After 2-3 miles I did so but with heavier legs by now, but this did mean I entered the finishing straight under Admiralty Arch by myself which was nice so I could see my wife and daughter easily. I won’t lie, I didn’t have any sprint left in the legs after my last effort, so I rolled over the line very grateful to see Buckingham Palace ahead of me. I stopped for a breather and very shortly after was joined by Johnny, great ride Sir.
Garmin ride time for me was 4hrs 35mins, slightly behind my PB by 4 mins, but a much better ride experience than in 2015, mostly down to my riding partner Johnny.
I’m sure more Ride 100 write-ups will follow, so I’d just like to say thanks to GS Avanti for allowing me to ride as part of the official team and for covering half of the entry fee.
July 31, 2017 at 10:45 pm #18723
2017 Prudential Ride London 100 Ride Report
Anyone who has ridden this sportive knows it is a classic route that has gone from strength to strength. Already in its 5th year and with 25,000 riders it is quite some feat of organisation and still a must do event.
With just 12 days notice I stepped in to replace Subhash who sadly had a knee injury and took the sensible approach to nurse it. (Hope it gets better soon Subhash)
The forecast was less than positive (not quite as bad as previous years, but still looking to be a bit damp and dirty) – so rather kindly my niece offered to put me up the night before which meant the trek to Stratford had to be done at 10pm Saturday night. As it happens, it was an easy route to Stratford along the blue cycle superhighway lane – almost all the way from Fenchurch Street. What a great cycle lane.
Overnight, the rain woke me up at about the time Bill and Andrew had probably got up, but luckily I drifted back off to sleep until I later awoke at a lazy 4.20am.
Pro Tip For Early Starts: As I applied the Muc Off Luxury Chamois Cream freebie I was given at the Club La Santa exhibition stand at around 4.40, it put my body into a sudden state of fight or flight and woke me up properly; much better than any early morning coffee. Or any defibrillator for that matter. Muc-Off really missed a marketing trick; they should have called it Jerry Lee Lewis Cream.
Wide awake and tingling, I departed at 4.50 for the mile long warm up to the start line and met Andrew before finding Bill & Paul amidst the crowds. The atmosphere picked up whilst DJ Smashy (or was it Nicey?) fluffed the amassed riders and then played us across the start line. The nice thing about the Ride 100 was that you get to ride it at your own pace and that there are always similar paced passing trains to jump on or drop back to as required. I had already quizzed Bill about his personal strategy and stated he was going for a negative split style first half. I knew there were some good early gains to be made on the first 10km and so slowly eased up to pace, keeping an eye out for Bill. I jumped onto a passing train and held it for as long a I could glancing back every so often, still in two minds whether to hang back, but then Bill suddenly appeared out of nowhere. We rode strongly as a pair for the first 40 miles, sharing the work and encouraging others to contribute to a chain gang, but clearly not many other riders had received Lee’s level of expertise from their own clubs. Lots wheel sucked, with the exceptional few who just rode hard into the wind burying themselves (such as one Scope rider did, who really paid the price later on). I tried to encourage some chain gangs and no more than 30 second efforts on the front but to no avail, partly because the group composition changed with regularity as either riders dropped off or new riders drifted back to join us. During this time we hitched up with Nolan, who rode with us for a short while before he dropped off to answer a call of nature (or so I thought he said!). He was looking strong, despite his denials.
During this sportive(/race?), there were some interesting displays of “skill” – a couple of riders descending and overtaking me at speed down some steep blind bends on Leith Hill, I assume just hoping that there were no slower cyclists around the corner ahead; others going for an invisible gap when a previously wide road section started to narrow due to being coned off and the peloton compressed (elbows out!). Also a couple of times a rider in front unnecessarily touched brakes (perhaps due to fatigue or loss of focus) causing a similar light braking to ripple back through the following line accompanied with shouts of “Whooa”! Having said that for the most part the riding was good and metered considering the conditions were a bit mucky.
I felt great at Newlands Corner, but less so by the time I hit Leith Hill (I thought it had started several miles before it actually kicked in) and then Box Hill was a struggle. Bill (who was showing good consistency) sailed up Leith and thankfully I managed to eventually catch up on the descents although it appeared he was kindly soft pedalling; much appreciated! I was thankful for the brief water and nature stop at our pre-agreed stop and tried to make sure I wasn’t any more dehydrated by filling both bottles (rather than just one) to avoid the dreaded cramps. We headed off and despite the short rest I was already struggling by this point (from about 50 miles) realising that a routine of 10 mile time trials and ad-hoc ~60 milers doesn’t really help you prepare too much for a pacey distance (though luckily the recent Alps adventure had helped me get my mojo back a little). Bill, who was still pulling like a South Eastern train driver late for his lunch, frequently appeared to be towing a whole bunch of riders and it was all I could do to hang on in their midst. Finally the elastic broke at around 91 miles into the never ending head wind. I just couldn’t stop the gap growing, despite using dropped riders like aero stepping stones. It was at 93 mile mark that I had an interesting “first” experience of both my hamstrings cramping (albeit an improvement on the previous calf cramp of 65miles of first Pru Ride100!) and I softly rode through the discomfort, which thankfully subsided within a mile. I eventually managed to jump on (somehow hanging on too) to a passing train who took me all the way to the finish line where I attempted a “sprint” that was akin to getting the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle; a lot of thrashing about but not much to show for it.
After a tidy “recovery” burger and chips with Nolan, I was refuelled and ready to make my way back to which ever railway station wasn’t closed for the weekend (helpful!).
Many thanks to the club for the place, Andrew/Paul/Bill/Subhash & Richard for the organisation but particularly Bill for the company, enjoyable but pacy riding and for nursing me round the second 50 when he probably could/should have ridden on ahead and improved on his previous time by a good 10 minutes.
4hrs 44 elapsed, 4hrs 38 moving (which is 12 minutes slower than my sunnier 2015 time). Very pleased with my time, all things considered, which is credited for the most part to Bill.
Oh, and I can confirm that the GS Avanti club kits still stands out and looks fab, even amongst such a variety of other kit designs!
August 4, 2017 at 1:27 am #18742
Bill and Johnny have summed up the adventure of the Avanti Team pretty well, so there isn’t much more for me to add. However here goes.
My Ride London week started badly, after getting soaked on the Avanti Introductory Ride I spent two days in bed with a fever. (Don’t worry Claire I don’t blame you, just the weather forecast)
By Thursday I was improving and headed to the ExCel Centre to register.
Sunday morning arrived with the rain on my window making more noise than the alarm clock. Arriving at the start only slightly damp I was confident I could finish the ride but my planned sub 5 hour ride was now unrealistic. Having met up with Bill, Andrew and Johnny we set off at 6am. The other three soon disappeared as I struggled to maintain a steady 20mph.
The Surrey Hills were a real problem as I limped up the climbs. I met Andrew at the top of Box Hill and we headed off in good spirits. The last flattish 30 miles seemed easy after the climbs, the sunshine helped.
I finished 30 minutes slower than last year, not bad considering I was only about 75% fit.
July 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm #18718
Saturday’s ride was attended by various specialists of speed, endurance and hill climbers which required a route to serve everyone’s purposes, plus the overnight rain had cleared to leave debris on the smaller lanes. So, basking in the glorious early morning sunshine: Lee, Simon & Claire, Paul, Grant, Tim & Sadie, new member Simon (fresh from the Etape) and myself set off on a vintage garmin free route that was in my head that took us from Cudham Lane straight over to Brasted Chart and on towards Bough Beech. At this point we met what can neither be described as a genuine good ol boy or red neck just a prize local dickhead in a fifties Land Rover that seemed to relish aiming for Lee and then overtaking – all from a standing start at the junction to Hever by accelerating into our path initially and sounding the General Lee air horns… This idiot seemed to enjoy the created chaos and we can only hope that bad karma will catch up with him and it shouldn’t take long given the speed of that old crate.
The rest of the ride proved reassuringly uneventful with a steady rouleur type pace mostly maintained throughout the undulating terrain in the peaceful surroundings of Chiddingstone, Stonewall and Penshurst and then back via Baileys Hill, Goathurst Common and Chipstead. The finale being a climb up Star Hill paced by Tim and Grant to Knockholt and then onto Cudham Lane for the fast descent to the G with a transit white van providing the pace vehicle for Simon Clarke to once more take the honour of 1st place at Belmondos (actually I think it slowed him down).
Total ride 40-45 miles with 3300 feet of climbing. Av speed – no idea, but we made it for Al fresco coffee in good time by regrouping and regulating the speed, well before the weather closed in. A fine ride in the window of opportunity for the Saturday sun.
July 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm #18717
Please write up your Ride100 and club ride experiences from the weekend.
I haven’t had any bike action this weekend at all – save for cleaning them.
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