Thought for the month

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Origin uncertain, usually attributed as a Chinese Proverb.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Richard Thomson's “Tour de London” … the 2014 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey (100) 86

It was very, very, very wet! The decision was made early in the morning to cut out the climbs of Box Hill and Leith Hill and their potentially dangerous descents under conditions of torrential rain and surface water. This was not well-received by the entrants, at least those club cyclists like us who wanted the challenge. I believe there was about 25mm of rain in a few hours; it was hard to see at times. At some points my shoes were underwater as I pedalled. Our group left the start (at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) at 07:05 and I finished some 5:15 hours later in front of Buckingham Palace. I had 3 “pit stops” totalling 20 mins and one involuntary stop of 15 mins following a puncture. This seemed to be when the rain was at its worst about half way around the course at a small village called Ripley (not sure I want to go there again!). Knowing the support committed helped keep me going but also I was passing so many other riders. I'm sure they were all thinking, "how come this old guy on a bike with mudguards and a mirror is overtaking me"! There were people all along the course cheering all the riders along and of the 24,000 entrants, around 20,700 completed the course.
My club (Boxford Bike Club) had 34 starters who all finished, in a range of times between 4h5m to 6h45m. (I was 14th and of course without the puncture might have been faster … but others probably had punctures or other issues too). Soon after I had gone under the Admiralty Arch and entered the Mall, I spotted my wife Penny and son Jonathan (he had flown in from Berlin early that morning to share the day with us) who had been tracking my position during the morning. My fundraising page for Epilepsy Research UK is still open. To boost the generous contributions, RTA Instruments is adding £10 for each donation made as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme. We look forward to your support.

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