After running the Stockholm Marathon and returning from a bit of travel around Scandinavia, next athletic ‘task’ was to train for the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey bike ride. Had a whole month and a half for that one. Done a lot of biking in my time, espec as a teenager with my bike expert friend Ben Hall, but have only biked over 50 miles in one day 3 times – twice for the London to Brighton bike ride and once this May, with my brother-in-law(Stephen) from Milton Keynes to Wimbledon(81miles). I don’t actually own a racing bike, my bike is a Boardman RaceMX hybrid, but that thing is a bit heavy for proper long-distance, so earlier this year I managed to borrow my nephew-in-law’s white Bianchi, which is rather a nice and much lighter bike. Thanks to this and inspite of Wimbledon tennis and the football World Cup being huge distractions, I completed the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey!
Having done a marathon in June and that long bike ride in May, I was obs quite fit, but surprisingly it took several weeks to fully recover from the marathon and so waited until then to start training. For anyone interested, my training diary was as follows :
Mon 2/7/2018 First day woke up feeling 100% fit, so got out and…Cycled 50 miles to Rusper and back via Box Hill. Yes, just got out there and biked 50 miles, because it had to be done.
Mon 9/7/2018 The Prudential Ride 100 starting times info are given out. My start time is 8:16am, hoorah! that means a nice early start to get to Stratford from Worcester Park then!
Sat 14/7/2018 Bike ride to Redhill and back via my tennis friend Simon’s BBQ in Banstead – about 70 miles. Visited a fine church / coffee shop in Redhill called West Central and Redhill Aerodrome, nice to see the planes taking off.
Tue 17/7/2018 Biked to Sainsburys for some food 🙂 not the longest ride ever.
Sat 21/7/2018 70mile Ride to Southwater and then to Cheam Tennis Club finals day, then home and round block to make up the miles. According to my bike computer – left home at 9:08am, 65.90miles to Cheam tennis club, 71:37miles total at home.
Fri 27/7/2018 Cycled to Stratford Westfield to see start of Prudential Ride 100! Got the train to Waterloo, then biked it from there to see exactly where would have to go Sunday. Then cycled back to Waterloo and got the train to Raynes Park and biked it home from there.
Sat 28/7/2018 – The day before the ride I had to go to the Excel in Docklands to get my registration details and to see the cycle Expo there. It turned out to be a bit of a hectic day as I needed to get a few things. So on the way back, I went to Decathlon in Canada Water to get a bike mac and a couple of bike wallets that attach to the handle-bars and cross-bar. Then to Halfords New Malden to get some Chamois cream – as advised by my tennis friend Martin. For the ride I prepared my secret ham sandwiches and various other snacks.
Sun 29/7/2018 – The BIG DAY – the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey! Got up at 4:30am – had Shreddies cereal. Drove to Wimbledon and parked in Wilton Crescent. Got the bike out the car and managed to get the 5:31am train to Waterloo. Cycled from there to Olympic Park, following everyone else along the way. We went a bit of an odd route, over London Bridge, past Lombard St, then right turn at lights and then onto A11.
Ride highlights :
- At the start it was light rain, but my new bike mac + old waterproof Colombia trainers were excellent in these conditions.
- The crowds cheering us on, people in Surrey opening their gardens to offer food/drink, the other riders, Great atmosphere!
- Stopping and having a tea at Newlands Corner – about 45miles in.
- What made the ride nice was the last 55miles were a lot easier than the previous 45 and seemed almost downhill by comparison.
- Stupily queuing at Newlands Corner for 30mins for a tea meant got to Box Hill just as they closed it (some poor guy apparently had a heart attack going up there).
- Having to wait 15mins in Leatherhead cos their council made it only a 1 bike lane road and hence a big bike traffic jam area.
- My friend Paul NOT coming out to cheer me cos it was raining.
- Seeing my Mum and Dad in Wimbledon by Sainsburys, then the big cheer going past the Alexandra Pub there.
- Cycling up Wimbledon Hill and overtaking a load of people like on the other hills
- Being confusingly overtaken by all sorts of random people on the flat roads(mystery solved 2 weeks later)
Ended up doing 92miles in total on the ride – as they closed Box Hill (the one bit I really wanted to do) – it took about 8.5hours(this includes 30mins tea queue + 15mins in Leatherhead). Afterwards hanged around and watched the pro riders come into The Mall, which was fun. My girlfriend eventually turning up to see me for a tea and some food well after I’d finished(she’d been at a family thing in Wales) and after that, like a nutter, I opted to cycle back to Wimbledon and do repeated circuits between Grand Drive(in Raynes Park) and where my car was parked until I had clocked over 115miles like in an Ironman! well I thought it’s not often I cycle nearly 100miles, so may as well top it up to the full distance 🙂 finished about 11:15pm 😀
Later note: Waterloo to Olympic Park, looks like was actually an extra 7.5miles(start 5.54 on clock)! Then 92.06 So Total 110.27 final reading.
Mystery solved: Throughout the whole ride wondered why so many people kept overtaking me on the flat roads. I’m not particularly fast, but it was the variety of people that was so confusing, many certainly didn’t look as fit nor as experienced at biking as me AND this didn’t happen on the hills, where I overtook significant numbers of folk. Anyways couple of weeks later somebody revealed to me that almost everyone else had “cleets” AKA bike-shoes which clip to the pedals, whereas I just had plain trainers and that was prob why. Yes, these cleets can give you up to 30% MORE power when biking! oh well personally glad I did it the hard way any! 😀
Alrght, Tips for anyone else: Do some regular cycling, use a racer bike as light as possible, get used to the bike and make sure to do at least one 70mile ride, then you should be fine. As can be seen above I did about 1 long ride a week and made it. My biggest concern was finishing in less than 9hours, which I prob didn’t need to be so worried about, but am glad to have concentrated on distance rather than speed. It was hard at times, but worth it. The day is most enjoyable and goes a lot quicker than expected, you are propelled along by all the other riders. Also buy some cleets if you want to make things easier for yourself 🙂