Better late then never, so sorry for not getting around to this sooner, but thank you to those of you who donated to my fundraiser connected with this event. Total raised this year was just short of £600 which is fantastic. Again, thank you on behalf of Blood Cancer UK and myself.
A 100 mile ride does take some preparation in terms of planning the day before & the day itself. Training started in mid March which included sessions on Zwift as well as longer rides totaling 390 miles in the weeks running up to the event. Speaking running, I was also training for the Hackney Half Marathon which I participated in the week before – completing that in 1hr 47m. I’d never participated in a distance run & ride so close together before.
It takes a lot of will power to eat a jar of overnight oats at 5am, but I managed it. I had sort ride from my hotel near Kings Cross to the start at Embankment, my route taking my down through the West End, Trafalgar Square, past Whitehall, Downing Street. The weather on the day was pretty good, although a bit cold by the Thames for my 6:20 am start, but it brightened up during the morning and overall, maybe apart from being a little blustery, was quite comfortable.
The route itself, once we’d cleared Stratford, heading out towards Waltham Forest was quite good. Compared to previous Essex course, there were no serious (or serious-ish) hills on this course but still, rolling hills can be quite relentless.
My ride was divided into two almost 50 mile sections, as at mile 48 we were stopped on the road for 45 minutes or so due to a medical emergency ahead. Apart from getting cold, it was essentially a half way free pit stop so I was able to eat food that I’d brought and get prepared for the second half of the ride.
To the Finish
After the emergency was cleared (only 1 bike taken away by police, so must have been medical, rather than road accident), I quickly got back into rhythm for the ride back to London, with a scheduled stop at mile 85 near Grange Hill Tube to meet the team from Blood Cancer UK. Unfortunately due to tube issues, MrsQ didn’t get to this meeting point but was still good to stop and catch up with the team. I was one of the first team Blood Cancer UK through apparently, in fact, I’d only seen one other jersey during the ride. This also meant I missed being photographed by the official photographer that arrived later (probably delayed on the tube too!
The finish on Tower Bridge was pretty cool. I’d previously run across Tower Bridge when participating in the Big Half 2021 (around Mile 7). I didn’t know at the time, but MrsQ had taken a position on the road nearby and managed to get an action shot of me passing.
It was a little bit of an anti-climax at the end, as due to the location, we had to keep moving on towards London Bridge. In previous years, finishing near Green Park means there is plenty of space so a secure bike park is provided so you can hang around and catch up with others afterwards. I suspect this wasn’t possible here due to location and charities were not permitted I believe to have after ride get meet ups for COVID reasons.
I guess one bonus of being near London Bridge was easy to hop on train back home from there. I did take a couple of weeks off the bike and from running after this to give me a chance to recover. I guess it’s time start hitting those monthly targets again. No more rides or sportives planned as of yet but I have entered a 20 mile run as part of the Bedford Run Fest on September 4th.. eek.
Thank you again to my sponsors, to MrsQ for supporting me during training and on the day! Thank you to all the volunteers, police, emergency services and marshals who make the day possible. Thanks to all the people on the route who came out to support us and cheer us on. Bring on 2023!