If you were lucky enough to have seen the recent TV coverage on BBC1, you will have seen the amazing spectacle of 20,000 riders on closed off roads, on the Prudential Ride London – Surrey 100 Bike Ride. Anglian was proud to have three members of the Anglian Knights cycling team take part in the race.
Following their completion of the race James, Kevin and Simon wanted to share their ride experiences with us.
James Wilson – Production Director
“The closed roads through London and Surrey were a bit surreal, but wonderful. The biggest surprise to me was the crowd support. There were thousands of people all along the route, even in the remotest parts to cheer us on.
At the start of the ride this is the view behind us of the cyclists ready to ride
The number of cyclists involved gave it a truly family feel and it had been meticulously organised.
As the miles clocked up, we passed too many landmarks to count, but they included Harrods, The Palace of Westminster, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Natural History Museum, and the land marks went on!
Going past the Houses of Parliament
For me the finish on the Mall is a memory to be cherished.
I am pleased to say that Kevin and I completed the race in less than the targeted 6 hours. It was a fantastic day and we raise £1000 for British Heart Foundation.”
James on Box Hill after the climb with a fabulous view behind him
Kevin Barber – Project Leader, Computer Services
Arriving at the Olympic Park, as the sun was coming up to join thousands of other riders certainly sent a tingle of anticipation up the spine.
From the very start the high level of organisation was obvious and we were quickly herded into our starting area.
Riding along side the Themes
Suddenly the horn sounded and we were off, scything through the empty streets and through various tunnels, which were fun in themselves. Taking in various landmarks such as Harrods and the Natural History Museum, and then through Richmond Park and on to Hampton Park for our first stop.
Cycling towards Nelson’s Column
Before long we were out in the Surrey countryside, tackling the climbs of Leith Hill and Box Hill and hurtling down the descents at speeds of up to 40mph. People had turned out in all the villages to cheer and wave and ring cowbells which made us feel like we were taking part in the Tour of Britain.
After two more stops, and just as my legs were starting to feel like jelly, London loomed up again and we were riding along the side of the Thames and past Trafalgar Square, and then on to the Mall for a sprint finish up to Buckingham Palace where our families and medals awaited.
The whole event could only be described as ‘epic’ and I’m so glad we were a part of what must be the ultimate bike ride!
The view toward the Buckingham Palace down the Mall
Simon Drake – CAD Operator
“The ride took me 6 hours 9 minutes. I got a bit delayed by what looked like a queue on one part of the route, someone in the crowd said “that’s Leith Hill”, argh! so I dug deep and cycled the route up.
Initially getting to the start from the Lee Valley camp-site was a bit of a worry, but that was resolved by a reconnaissance on the Saturday (14 miles to the London Excel to register, then the 7 miles to the start on the Sunday)
Once at the start, ‘wow’ the worry turned to nerves, but talking to the other riders I wasn’t the only one. I was impressed with the organisation. The closed roads made a difference, but having to remember I did not have to stop for the red traffic lights took a while to sink in.
The sights through London and Surrey where numerous, but I had to remember I wasn’t the only one out there.
The crowds were great, and the miles seem to pass quickly. The finish in the Mall is something I will always remember.
I would really be up for doing the ride again next year, if I get the opportunity, and I am selected from the ballot again.
It was a really good day!”
James and Kevin at the end in the Mall with their medals
The blog team would like to send our congratulations to all the riders that took part.
Images sources from James Wilson