Ride London 2019
On Sunday 4th August several club members and some invited guests took part in Ride London 2019. The route was to be 100 miles around central London and the countryside of Surrey. The club entered two teams, one an all male quartet (see report below), the other a mixed team. Ashleigh entered through the Canine Partners charity. The ride started at The Olympic Park in London and for the first 25 miles made its way around the city on wide closed roads enabling riders to spread out and extend their legs whilst enjoying many of London’s most iconic sights. This section was quite fast and despite the huge number of riders there seemed to be very few incidents although Ashleigh did see someone trying to retrieve a water bottle and almost causing ‘complete carnage’. The second part of the ride involved venturing into the Surrey countryside and the narrower roads began to become very congested and quite difficult to navigate with a number of crashes and hold ups due to the narrowing of roads and the sheer volume of people. My brother Dave, who got held up on many occasions described the carnage as ‘more crashes than an Amstrad Computer’. For those of us who set off later Leith Hill was closed and riders were diverted onto a shorter route. Even Ashleigh, who went off at the very early time of 6.20, found Leith Hill very congested and was unable to ‘get a rhythm having to constantly adjust his tempo’. Once back in the city the roads cleared again and rider speeds could increase. A final ride along the embankment before turning off for the Mall was a fantastic experience.
All in all it was a great experience and despite the disappointment of the shortened route everyone seems to have enjoyed their experience. Karen from Ipswich Bike said that she loved the experience and my brother Dave has now completed two of the Big 3 London challenges!
The four man BBC team met for supper Saturday night near Stratford. However, by Sunday morning it was just three as Dave Bowes tyre was puncturing inner tubes due to an exposed inner wire. So just Dave Humby, Mark Bramhall and Ian Simpson made the 7.44 start. A nice but slightly grey day saw us ride together for the first two hours and then Dave set off to set a good time. We had averaged 18.8 for the first two hours and felt good but in the next 15 miles there were three stops for accidents that had occurred. Each one meant stopping, standing and walking slowly as hundreds waited to get by. We have no idea why so many accidents as there was also 3 other occasions where we had to slow down to go past an accident. Just when we thought it was clear we reached Leith Hill to find another 200 yard queue as the crowds on the hill had too many walking so they were letting people go in waves. All this took the shine out of the event as it became very stop / go. Mark and Ian had moving times of 6 hours but that included shuffling along on foot. Shame really as it was a nice day and well organised again. Ride London is a great route and event but maybe it is turning away from experienced riders to enthusiastic charity riders who need a bit more experience riding in large numbers or maybe just too many entrants??
Congratulations to all those who took part and a big thankyou to Sue and Karen and Dave, my ever willing brother, for making up the mixed team and enabling me to take part.
If you would like to take part next year more information can be accessed through the link below:
Pictures from the event from left to right Dave Humby, Mark Bramhall and Ian Simpson, Ashley Whiting, Rob Giles, Sue and Karen from Ipswich Bike Club