The Prudential Ride London Cycling Sportive
August 4, 2013
On Sunday 4th August, London made history by hosting the largest ever inaugural mass participation event in the world, The Prudential Ride London Cycling Sportive. Before the sun had even risen, lycra clad cyclists began to appear from homes & hotels across the capital, congregating at the Olympic Park in Stratford. It felt like an accidental flash mob as the closer you got to reaching the start line, cyclist began emerging from every direction on the deserted Sunday morning streets until 16,500 had gathered to cycle 100 miles on closed London streets completely free from traffic.
Boris Johnson opened the race and the cycling community embarked on the 100 mile challenge. It was an eerie feeling at times cycling down deserted dual carriageways, not having to stop for red lights and hurtling downhill at terrifying speeds on the wrong side of the road.
The 100 mile route meandered its way across the capital ticking off distinguished landmarks until we emerged into the Surrey Hills, before the home straight down the Mall for a sprint finish.
It was an amazing day of two-wheeled fun. The sun was shining, the crowds formed street parties along the route; supporting us with deafening cheers (not angry shouts of the closed roads stranding them in the middle of nowhere) which helped to boost our morale as we mentally ticked off each mile.
The waving policeman who made headlines for their efforts at the Olympics were back and waving proudly they were.
The thousands of bananas that volunteers patiently cut in half lined the tables at each hub to refuel our aching legs. I didn’t realise how many bananas I could eat in one day until now.
For everyone that participated (both cyclists and volunteers), well done for your efforts and being part of the Olympic legacy. I hope you had as much fun as I did and hope that you’ll be entering the ballot come Monday 12th August! Next year I hope to beat my time and get sub 6 hours. Better start training..