Ride London is a 100 mile sportive on the original route from the London 2012 Olympics. It takes place on the first weekend of August and the route starts from Olympic Park and then goes out to the Surrey hills taking in the classic hills of Box Hill and Leith Hill.

Riding on closed roads around London is a huge privilege and it’s great fun to ride past some of the key landmarks in London such as the houses of parliament.

The closed roads makes it a fast 100miles. And despite the Surrey hills, it’s a relatively flat and easy 100 miles.

There are 30,000 cyclists! This is amazing! It’s such great fun to see so many people riding of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds on all different types of bikes, from all over the country.

The support and crowds are fantastic! It’s fabulous to see so many people out cheering, supporting and having some fun and not something that you get very often at cycling events.

It finishes on “The Mall” which is really quite special with the road lined with crowds of supporters. We always take the time to meet up with friends and family and the obligatory picnic afterwards.

It’s a great opportunity to feel part of Solihull CC and we always take the opportunity to have some food and a few drinks the night before and meeting up with our club mates on the start always provides some entertainment and camaraderie.

It’s a bit like the London Marathon – with only 30,000 places but probably 100,000 people entering the ballot. So I know lots of people who have entered every year through the ballot and never got a spot.

Disadvantages of Ride London are:

  • There’s a little bit of faff involved with needing to register by 4pm the day before.
  • Travel to London with bikes can sometimes be a challenge and take a bit of thinking about (check hotel’s have car parks)
  • The starting pen’s close really early so there’s usually at least an hour hanging around at the start
  • You might not have the same start time as any friends you want to ride with (you could be 2 hours apart)
  • The ride back from the finish is always a drag!
  • With 30,000 cyclists the roads are crowded, often with people in-experienced at riding in a group. So you have to have your wits about you.
  • It’s common to get caught behind a crash or a medical emergency and be stood still for quite a while.

Overall I think this is a great event and one to be experienced at least once……we’ve done it 5 times.  If you go with the attitude of having a day out of fun on the bike then you can’t fail to enjoy it. As I say to ride around the capital city on closed roads is an opportunity not to miss.

If you go with a racing head on….then you’ll probably be disappointed!

One of the advantages of being a member of Solihull CC is that British Cycling allocates Team Entries to affiliated clubs ever year and whilst not guaranteed we’ve always had as many places as we’ve asked for. Club entries usually open in March so make sure you get in touch if you’re interested.