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Friday, June 28, 2013

Ride London - The Reprieve

When it was announced that there was going to be a large closed road sportive in London.
I started to salivate.
In the way that I do when I smell chocolate or see a Colnago.
When it further stated that it would principally follow the 2012 Olympic Course, I shook with excitement.
Unfortunately due to the success of our Olympic Track Cyclists and the Holy cycling road trinity of Brad Froomy and Cav, everyone who seemed to own a bike applied for the restricted 20,000 places.

Because of the anticipated demand participants were chosen through a ballot.
despite all fingers and Toes crossed and a tri[p to yonder Moor to obtain some lucky heather 
I did not get in, along with all of the other Anglo Mules.

Even though we rejoiced at the fact that all of the American Mules were accepted, we all were envious (the understatement of this and the other 52 years of my existence)
Nevertheless we still decided that we would go to London and support them in any way that we could.

During the spring British Cycling contacted our club and asked us if we would be interested in applying for the same event as a club team with four riders.
I could only imagine that a large percentage of people who were offered of places realised that they:-
1. Did not have a bicycle
2. Did not know how to cycle
3. Realised that the 4 hrs predicted time for the event would be exposed
5. That they did not fancy the commitment of training.

Regardless of the reasons I was overjoyed at the prospect of a second bite of the velocherry.
It was easy to get four club members and as we waited to find out plans were drawn up for the route and the event was really taking shape.

Believing that it was fate I trained as I have never trained, getting lighter, faster, fitter and with a resolve that could move the south downs themselves.
Finding out that I had got a place was the highlight of my year which is only likely to be surpassed by taking part.
as we Mules say EEEEEEEEEEEAAAWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

I have had the good fortune to take part in large Sportives in the USA where it is not uncommon to be in a Paceline of over one hundred riders.
To have 20,000 riders in this country is about 5 times greater than the biggest Sportive ever held.
For those taking part it will be amazing.
Having lived in London I know the landmarks on the Route, I just hope that riders are attentive because there will be visual distractions around every corner.
Knowing the British public I also envisage big crowds and see the whole event as a landmark in Cycling history, and something I expect to see mirrored in other cities around the world..
I feel privileged to say I am riding.
Today I recieved my start time of 06:58.
Very Precise..........very British.......I like that.
If it were in Paris it would be 'Plus tard ce matin'

When I finally go down the Mall, even if I have to carry a broken bike.
I am sure there may be a tear and maybe some British Ale to toast the Queen.

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