This festival of cycling now in its 4th year will see 250,000 cyclists participate in the 3 day festival in and around London. The festival creates safe cycling routes around the City of London allowing families to enjoy well known landmarks on bikes without the usual pressure of road traffic.
This year’s event was held over the last weekend in July accumulating in the Ride London 100 and finale of the Pro Surrey Classic for the top elite cycling teams in the world.
The legacy from the 2012 Olympics and the success of both the trade and road teams has seen the like of Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins change the face of cycling in the UK, whereby 30,000 cyclists will ride the London 100 many of them for charitable causes. This event is considered the equivalent of the London Marathon for cyclists.
Simon Lamb, MD
As part of a 3 man team Simon and his training partners all representing their respective companies have raised money for both national and local causes. The team originally entered the ballot and found out in February that they were unsuccessful in gaining a place. They were soon contacted by the Anthony Nolan Charity who offered places on the provision of raising at least £600 each.
“We desperately wanted to compete and the Nolan cause was fantastic, as part of Simon’s 50th celebration from last year we all agreed that riding and raising awareness went hand in hand.”
Dave Barlow, Managing Director, Prohire
Duncan, David and Simon are also members of the same golf club and during their training became aware of a young boy at the club Ethan Pepperell aged 10 who had a rare cancer condition. As well as raising money for Anthony Nolan they decided to dedicate the race to Ethan and also raised money for the charity looking into his condition, ‘The Bone Cancer Trust.’
“The decision to raise money for Ethan was an easy one, he is a junior member at the Club but he had to deal with his condition, so playing golf and cycling isn’t easy for him so anything we could do would only help.”
Duncan White, Managing Director – Reflex Flexibles
Regardless of the amount of training the team did prior to the event none of them were prepared for the demands of Leith Hill! With gradients of 11% & 14% this climb comes at 56 miles into the ride and is then closely followed by the Iconic Box Hill.
London 100 circuit uses that which the Olympic Cycle Race was run with the exception that Box Hill is tackled twice.
Ride London comes with a different set of pressures, firstly despite the absence of traffic 30,000 cyclists all attempting the circuit at the same time brings its own problems. Secondly, you have to be done and off the route in plenty of time for the Elite Race, if you are not you are taken off the course, and thirdly you have to complete because charities are depending on you finishing.
“We trained hard enough but our longest ride was 72 miles, we had never done 100 so we didn’t know whether we could complete the course.”
Dave Barlow, MD, Prohire
Throughout the course the streets are lined with supporters, cheering factions and station of charity sponsors and well-wishers not forgetting the cycling hubs that provide welcome respite water and fuel gels as well as the needed facilities.
“Riding through London City on empty streets was amazing before you knew of it we were averaging 22 mph for the first 9 miles and still people were passing us.”
Duncan White, MD Reflex Flexibles
After tackling the more known hills of Newman, Leith and Box, most get caught out by the steady climbs out of Wimbledon. On its own not a problem but at 89 miles it sucks all the energy from you.
“At 92 miles I had hit the wall; riding as a 3 got me to the end, it just became a blur and at the speeds we were travelling the ride down the Mall to Buckingham Palace was mixed with relief, a sense of achievement.. We all started together and finished together and is definitely the hardest thing I have done…”
Simon Lamb, MD
We were able to raise in excess of £4,000 for Anthony Nolan and about £1,000 for the Bone Cancer Trust.
The Ride London Event has raised in excess of £29,000,000 since it conception 4 years ago and goes from strength to strength. We learnt at the end of the day 2 cyclists had been taken to hospital which had caused some of the delays and who sadly died as a result of their injuries and medical conditions. Our thoughts go out to their families and the families who continue to battle against cancer. Once again thank you for your magnificent support.
At this point we should also off our congratulations to Jim Maker founder of the company who also completed the course for the charity ‘Stress’.
Jim took great delight in ringing me after the event.
“Well boy not bad for a 71 year old, finished fresh as daisy and 1 hour in front of your time!”
I can’t repeat what I said to Jim, but offered my congratulations on a fine effort and went in search of a beer!
On behalf of all those suppliers, employees and colleagues at Makers who made a donation, fellow golf members at Branston, David, Duncan and myself would like to offer our sincerest thanks.
There is still time to make a donation if you can please feel free to visit either of the giving pages below;