Well that was a shock! Last week I received the Congratulations booklet from London Marathon Events confirming I had successfully landed a place in the Ride London-Surrey 100 this August. I have a pretty shocking record of gaining entry to any event via a ballot, in fact until this one it was a 100% failure rate from 26 attempts across various running race and cycle sportive.
I did take part in the Ride 100 in 2018 when my friend Phil and I paid for the VIP entry outside of the general ballot. If you have been unsuccessful in the ballot and there are still VIP places remaining I can highly recommend this. In 2018 we were both guaranteed to start in the same wave and had pre ride hospitality at the Velodrome and you are escorted straight to the front of your start wave, no waiting around in the rain. There was also post ride hospitality over looking the finish line where we watched the end of the pros race.
Whilst I really enjoyed the ride in 2018, the weather was terrible, it poured down from start to finish making for a miserable ride. The large number of riders on the road did make for some bottle necks resulting in us standing around waiting at times. In fact my total ride time was more than three hours longer than my moving time, that is how long we spent waiting. The climbs were congested with riders of all abilities climbing at the same time. Some walking, some weaving from side to side and others flying up, this meant for a few near misses. I did say after the race that I wouldn’t do it again due to the congestion but I wanted to see what it was like on a dry day so I entered the ballot for 2019. Lets hope for some better weather this year otherwise I will be back in the ballot for 2020.
That said, I am really looking forward to taking on the challenge in 2019. My goal at this stage is to complete the ride under 5 hours, having seen the hills last year, I know there is nothing to worry about and by August my bike fitness should be at a far higher level than it is at the moment with taking part in Ironman UK in mid July as well as building towards Ironman Wales in September. I am hoping to get into an early wave start so I can get out ahead of the crowds and have a more enjoyable experience. I love riding my bike so I don’t want 2018 sour my experience of Ride 100.