Monday 17 June 2013

Sponsored ride update: 1 down, 1 DNF, 2 to go.

By now I should have completed 2 of my 4 2013 sponsored rides unfortunately though that is not the case!


For the first week in June I was preparing for Nightrider and really looking forward to it. I was taking it easy on my normal commuting rides (partly to recover from King of the Downs, partly to be rested for Nightrider), I cut down on the number of my commuting rides and I was also staying up much later at night to get my body clock prepared for my late night ride. On Thursday night I stayed up till midnight and got up at 9. On Friday night I stayed up till 4 and slept till 12.

On Saturday night I was ready and raring to go. My wonderful support crew Linzi dropped me off and at 10:30 I was ready to go well ahead of my 11:10 start time. The event was running a little ahead of time so I was able to start a bit earlier than my allotted time. We had a brief talk about safety and then we were off, along a short access road out of Crystal palace, up to a junction with a main road and off down the first hill. I was really looking forward to my cycle through London through the middle of the night.

Whilst going down this hill, HALF a mile into the ride there was a very loud bang and my rear tyre was completely flat. I managed to stop the bike without falling off and was grateful that I had 3 spare inner tubes on me and a spare tyre - I felt very well prepared. Unfortunately though that wasn't going to help me. My actual wheel had broken, the steel rim had come away from the rest of the wheel...

Well, I didn't have a spare wheel on me! The mechanics at the start point didn't have a spare wheel either so there was nothing I could do - I had to give up. Without a rear wheel I couldn't do the route. I couldn't even wheel my bike along as the broken rim was rubbing on the brakes.

I was really disappointed by this, utterly gutted. This was the ride that I was looking forward to the most. I am doing Nightrider in Paris later in the year but I don't know Paris, it's not my city so it's not as special.

Anyway, these things happen. Time to move on...

London to Brighton

Next up in my series of rides was London to Brighton (L2B). This is the 4th time I've done this ride (the 3rd time I've done it for the British Heart Foundation). It's a nice ride that's not too hard - other than the final hill Ditchling Beacon. I made similar preparations for this ride as I did for Nightrider, took my commuting rides a bit easy and took a few less rides.

Linzi had done a great job putting together a T-shirt for me with Alastair on the front and with a list of all my rides on the back. I do these rides because I enjoy them but I am really pleased to be able to raise money for the BHF in Alastair's memory. This T-shirt lets people know why I am doing the rides.

I had been lucky enough to get a 6:00 AM start which was great as there would be less traffic on the route, it did mean a 4:30 alarm though to give me enough time to get up, get the bike ready, cycle the 10 miles to the start and get there 30 minutes before the start. This didn't quite work out and I was a little bit later than I wanted getting to Clapham Common at about 5:45. There was already a pretty big queue:

I got started at about 6:10 once all the people in front of me got through the narrow gate at the exit of Clapham Common. There were a lot of people in front of me but after 5 miles or so they thinned out quite a bit.

I had a great ride and really enjoyed it. I felt really strong and was going pretty quick for the whole 53 miles. Even right at the end after the tough ascent of Ditchling Beacon I was able to do a sprint finish getting up to 29 MPH to finish in about 10 seconds short of 3 hours 30 minutes. About 30 minutes better than last year.
You can see how many people I was passing during the ride in this time lapse video I uploaded:

For anyone that's interested you can see the full details from this ride on Strava:

That's about it for now. The next ride is the 100 mile London ride in early August. I am planning on doing a 75 mile ride around 3 weeks before that in preparation. I'll do another update after the London 100 as that one is going to be a bit of a challenge. 100 miles is a long way and will be the longest I've ever ridden.

If you haven't sponsored me yet and would like to please visit my Just Giving page:


  1. I have been reading some of your stuff on weightless and cycling. You have done really well. I try to commute to work as much as possible and have managed to increase my average speed by quite a bit this year. If I could drop some weight I would be happy. I have sent a request to follow you on Strava for some extra inspiration. I hope we can connect there.

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