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RideLondon 2016

By brian_perry - Posted on 12 August 2016

Face of 2016 Finishers' medal

This year Reading CC had over 20 riders including two teams in the Club Challenge comprising a mixed team, 2M+2F, and 4M.

Here’s a combined report compiled from contributions by some of our riders:

Bob Birt
“I thought it would be a fast time for me, having met up with my son after Lime House Link we made good time until mile 38. Where we stopped by the unfortunate accident and consequently missed Leth Hill due to the diversion.
So in 3 attempts I have only done the full distance once, however it was a good ride and we made good time after we started riding again.”

Pete Ganderton
“This was my 3rd RideLondon, and despite being my fastest time, sneaking under 4 hours, probably the easiest in terms of effort. I was at the front of the Orange A wave, the second one on the road, and there was a smattering of serious engines around (including a couple of ex-Pro's from Italy, and some Cat 1 and Elite road riders). My entire plan consisted of sitting in the pack, and making sure that I stayed near the front on hills to avoid getting the wrong side of any splits.

Everything went pretty much according to plan...we smashed through London, and after 70km the average pace was somewhere south of 42km/h, and we'd already overhauled half of the first wave. I'd done about 1 minute of work on the front, then settled into a mid-pack position. Things got a little spicy over Newlands, Leith Hill and Box Hill, with quite a few people being thrown out the back, however I'd been expecting this, and in all cases went over with the front of the pack. As we went through Leatherhead we caught the rest of the first wave off, swelling the group to about 75 riders, , and then we hammered back into London, flew up Wimbledon Hill, before sailing home, and I watched the bunch sprint from a safe position to the rear. A time of 3 hours and 59 minutes, and I'd had it so easy I felt fine cycling back to Reading.

For those who like numbers, my average power was a measly 198 watts, with a normalised power of 244 watts. Hardest 5 minute effort was on Leith Hill (340w, or about 5w/kg), where the biggest split in the bunch occurred.”

Trevor and Thea Warwick
“Many thanks from Thea and I for organising the team entry.  It was the first time at Ride London for both of us, and definitely an experience to remember, mostly for good reasons.

We both found the event a bit easier than we'd expected, even the "hilly" part. As we had a relatively late start time, we got stuck behind the bad accident for 90 minutes, and from then on, any thought of aiming for a finish time had to go out of the window. You're out on the road for much longer, so you have to pick up more food, there's more people at toilet/water stations, so you end up queueing, etc

So after that delay, it was much more about enjoying the experience of riding on closed roads with thousands of other people.  Fortunately we made it before the cutoff at Leith Hill so did at least get to ride the whole course, although with various sections of walking caused by sheer congestion.  I got separated from Thea on the descent of Leith Hill, she then got held up by a marshal, so we didn't see each other until the finish. I had a ride time of 5:41, Thea was about 10-15 minutes more.  She did really well considering she'd only done one ride longer than 40 miles in her training (on the other hand, she had done a lot of hills !).”

Mick Simmons

• late start (08:58) so had to pass a lot of riders
• riders generally well behaved: not too much weaving, calls of "on your right" worked well
• amazed to be passed early on the pro team hand cyclists (why set them off at the back??: very frustrating for them)
• saw several accidents and was delayed as ride was stopped (accidents, pedestrians crossing)

• 44mile stop: lucky that I was not at the front of the queue: we were stuck in Pyrford so took the "early detour" and rejoined at start of Newlands Corner climb
• generally well marshalled, but we heard nothing at 44 mile incident
• because I had a late start I never managed to ride with any groups so solo effort
• rather pleased with my total time 5h53 (I'd love to know how other 70+ riders did)
• getting back to digs (in Chingford) from finish was a bit nightmarish”

Natalie Teresina Bravo
“Chuffed to bits with my rideLondon 100 mile pb. 4.41”

Brian Perry
“The day started, rising at 4 am, a (mixing) bowl of porridge and a relaxing drive to one of the reserved event car parks at the O2. Several swigs of energy drink then an early morning scenic trip on the SkyLine to the other side of the Thames followed by a few miles to the Park
Everything at the start was well organised and good natured - despite the thousands of riders and their bikes. I set off from the same pen as Martin Johnson, but never caught sight of him.
This year I rode in Velo Schils Club Challenge and three of us made it to the start on time; one man was held up by the event's road closures. The 6:35 wave seemed mostly experienced riders so the pace was fairly quick. I soon learnt that if you don’t keep very close to your team mates then it’s all to easy to get separated, and several times before our scheduled stop at Newlands Corner I marked time. A fairly relaxed stop for me and plenty of high energy stuff and a refill with the electrolyte drink on offer.
Both Leith Hill and Box Hills I climbed quite comfortably though the descent of Leith had plenty of uneven surface in the lower few hundred metres. By then I’d lost my companions completely. From the Surrey Hills it was just a fast dash; constantly finding, dropping or catching various pelotons. I was lucky to encounter only short holdups in Kingston and Clapham, but for the most part really motoring along. My error was not to have enough salt, and I felt twinges of cramp just before Wimbledon. Next time ensure I have my own electrolyte mixed!
In the final miles through Putney and along the embankment tired riders were more noticeable. I wound it up for the last mile and enjoyed a sort of sprint along The Mall.
To finish my day in London, I caught the boat from Blackfriars back to O2.
My time 5:08; 7 minutes better than my first ride in 2013.”

Attached Images

Face of 2016 Finishers' medal