It’s been a couple of weeks since the ride so about time for me to do a write up! In summary, this year it was a very smooth ride, in that I wasn’t held up by any incidents, there were no warnings of thumb tacks on the road, the weather was just right, wasn’t too windy, wasn’t too warm.. just right.
I set off from the house shortly after 5am on the morning of the ride. In previous rides, I stayed in hotels in London before the start but this year, I didn’t book, choosing to drive in and park instead. Given where the start is on Embankment, I think this worked out quite well, I chose a parking space (thanks JustPark) in Swiss Cottage, giving me a short ride to the start before the main event.
I wasn’t too concerned this time about making my allotted start time which would have meant being near starting point at 5:40am. I think I eventually got to the starting funnels by about 7am and eventually crossing the starting line at around 8:05am. I could see that my father-in-law Julian had about a 15 mile start on me, would I catch him on the road? It was a little chilly at that time of the morning – I was glad I’d bought arm warmers for this ride, knowing I could take them off later and they would be easy to carry in pocket for remainder of ride.
The ride out through the City and Stratford is reasonably technical – on closed roads you have the full width of road to use, but with riders passing on both left and right, plus, traffic islands and speed bumps you have to be quite vigilant.
I rode for just short of 40 miles before having my first comfort break. I could then see that JP was only 4 miles ahead so I kept an eye out for him. As it turns out, I passed JP when he stopped at Felsted welfare stop which was quite busy, so he had a 30 minute break. I had just one more comfort stop at about 60 miles before continuing to the finish.
The team from Blood Cancer UK were supporting at mile 99 so I was looking forward to a brief stop to say hello and to thank them for their support. It was great too that MrsQ was there with them supporting. They took some cracking photographs.
Despite the smiles and the triumphant poses 🙂 I was quite tired and I’d been suffering a bit with intermittent abdominal pain for a few miles (which continued for about 40 mins after the ride). Did go away after I’d had a litre of water after I’d finished.
I completed the ride in 6hrs 4mins and 39 seconds! which I was quite pleased with. It was quite a big effort really considering what I went through in the last few months and how training was limited. Blood Cancer UK are offering entries for next year already – so still thinking about it! I am hugely grateful for the sponsorship money I received on my fundraising page. Thank you all so much for your donations!
I’d arranged with in-laws Hilary & Julian to meet up after the ride at More London – so I hung around there for a bit recovering until JP finished and Hilary found us. I knew he was on his way as Helen had messaged me to say he’d also stopped up at mile 99 to say hi – before Helen went off to Abba Voyage with her siblings!!
It is a quite iconic finish on Tower Bridge, but unless you are staying in London nearby, you have very little choice but to move on. After we had a catch up and and some recovery time, we strolled from More London over to Cannon St where Hilary & Julian had hotel. I left them at that point and then had to figure out how to get to Swiss Cottage to my car, which was fun!
My fundraising total is £800 which is marvellous – thank you all so much again! I was also interviewed for a magazine at work – which also helped raise awareness and led to a few donations also, which was great.
A couple of days after the ride I had a consultation with my haematologist – who has said all good, no further treatment – see you in 10 weeks… which is good!