Yesterday I completed the Prudential RideLondon for the second time: 100 miles through London and Surrey with 26,000 other riders, thousands of incredible bikes, hundreds of MAMILs, dozens of cycling club jerseys from all over the country and plenty of sunshine.  The conditions were perfect: bright and sunny, warm but not too warm (although it hit 27C in the afternoon: hello topped up tanlines) and not too windy.

RideLondon-Surrey 100, 2015 - 100 mile bike ride - cycling sportive

Now in its third year, the route starts at the Olympic Park in Stratford (I had a bright and early 4:45am wake up call for a 6:48am start) and finishes on The Mall via the Surrey climbs along the London 2012 road race course.  In 2013 I finished it in 6 hours 13 minutes with my Dad: it was my first century, I’d spent a fair amount of time on my bike so felt prepared and I bloody loved it.  This time around I did it in 6 hours 29 minutes: 16 minutes longer due to lack of training (three weekends in Asia in May, Glastonbury in June and Latitude in July ate into training opportunities).  Hey ho; there’s no substitute for hours in the saddle.

It’s such a fantastic event – the entry fee is worth it for the closed roads alone. I’ve cycled in London every day for five years so – as much as I hate the congestion – I’m used to weaving in and out of traffic jams, bus lanes, red lights, bad drivers and massive left-turning HGVs, but not having to worry about all that is such a pleasure.  Rolling through the countryside in a swarm of cyclists with only the hum of wheels and roadside crowds cheering is a fantastic experience.

Like last time, we spent a couple of hours recovering on the grass in Green Park with Champagne watching the pro race.  Including cycling there and back I did 185km yesterday, which is the most I’ve done in one day and I can definitely feel it in my legs today…  Registration for next year opens next Monday and I already can’t wait to do it all again.