Ten months ago, David Barrass (our ex MD) put his name down for the 100-mile 2017 Prudential Ride London cycle ride, in order to raise funds for his chosen charities; Prostate Cancer (UK) and for our local NHS Southmead Hospital Trust.
After having completed the course, David shares his experiences here:
8:56 a.m. on Sunday 30 July was, for me, one of life’s memorable moments. 30,000 riders with bikes gathered from 5 a.m. to partake in the event, most if not all riding for their chosen charity. From turbo charged racers to tandems and Bromptons (yes Bromptons!).
The weather started a little overcast with some light rain but soon cheered up. Out from the Olympic Park towards the City on the A12 dual carriageway, closed to traffic for the day. This in itself was an experience; to cycle on one of the main arterial routes into the Capital, without a car in sight!
In spite of the numbers, my wave of 100 cyclists started precisely at the prescribed time of 8.56 a.m. A testimony to the first-class organisation on the day.
By the time we reached Kingston (London…not Jamaica!) the first rays of sunshine had begun to break through.
The route followed the more sedentary areas of Surrey, through Walton-on-Thames, Weighbridge and onwards to the main challenge of the event … starting at the 50-mile half way point … the three thigh-bursting climbs of Newlands Corner, Leith and Box Hill.
My only disappointment is that I missed my target time of 7 hours by a short whisker – arising from excessive consumption of ice cream and an overstay to take in the beautiful view at the top of Box Hill.
Finally, the (mostly) downhill run to the finishing line on the Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace and photographs and a medal.
This Ride London has been a pleasure and a privilege to participate in, not only to have the opportunity to participate in an iconic annual challenge but at the same time to raise over £1,800 for my chosen charity.
Would I do it again? You bet! I intend to be first in the queue for the ballot for 2018 which opens on the morning of Monday 7 August.