Ride London Surrey 2015, Sunday 2nd August
I don’t think anyone really likes having to get up at 5 am, or for some at 4 am! Perhaps when going on holiday it’s just about bearable but when you’re going to be on your bike for most of the day, that’s when you really question your sanity! Why am I doing this and will it all be worth it in the end? A question probably many asked repeatedly as they took to their bikes for numerous training rides in the six-month build-up to Ride London 100.
Well, it certainly was and this is why.
The weather conditions were near perfect. Even at 6 am in the morning there was no need for jumpers and the arm warmers had already been stripped off by the time I started at 7:51, on the dot! The sights of London in both the early morning light and the afternoon sun looked magnificent and out in the glorious Surrey countryside we could see the views from the top of the hills this year, unlike. Those who rode last year will remember the biblical like conditions we endured as the remains of Hurricane Bertha battered UK shores! No closing of the hills today – we had the whole course to ride and this year the weather cheered us on rather than beating us over the finishing line with a monsoon stick!
To see the closed roads full of cyclists was inspiring and reminded us of the larger community that we belong to, a community that took some pain this year with the sad news of the death of Stephen Green on Leith Hill. Many of us were caught up in that incident that halted the race for over an hour and meant a mile on foot; however, our pain fades into insignificance by comparison. In these large events we get the opportunity to meet and also help other riders. Riders from the KVG have received thanks for the assistance they offered others on the course. And we get to represent the KVG in the wider community of cycling with our pink tops making quite an impression if the comments I received were anything to go by – voted as best club top by the gentlemen Wendy and I chatted to on Leith Hill!
And finally, it is worth it because what better way is there to spend the day than on your bike. Whether you were riding on a schedule or taking time to enjoy the tea stops and views, London 100 gives us all a chance to have a day out on the road doing what we like to do the best. We all have stories to tell and memories that will make us smile. We all say not next year but I’ve already entered; it’s a bit like childbirth! When we challenge ourselves, take ourselves out of our comfort zones that are when we find out who we are and the journey is as important as the destination . . . . . that finishing line in The Mall! With that final prize of the medal proudly worn we walk a little taller and can say to ourselves, “well done you”. It’s a great feeling where, for once, everything is right in the world and we are all heroes. I wish I could bottle that sense, it’s gold dust.
So congratulations to all us KVG riders who completed Ride London 100, whether it was fastest 100 times, furthest ridden, raising money for charity, conquering the hills or, like me, actually completing the course for the first time. Da girls did well . . . . .