Prudential RideLondon: the world’s greatest festival of cycling

A true legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games

Developed by the Mayor of London and his team in 2013, the Prudential RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

While the Mayor and his people are the custodians of Prudential RideLondon, the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership (LSCP), a partnership between London Marathon Events Limited (owners and operators of the London Marathon since 1981) and SweetSpot Group Limited (operators of the Tour of Britain), manages the event.

LSCP works with Transport for London (TfL) and London & Partners (the Mayor’s official promotional organisation) to co-ordinate the significant technical requirements for the event and work in partnership with London Boroughs, Surrey County Council, The Royal Parks, London Legacy Development Corporation and British Cycling, who are each integral to the delivery of the event.

Prudential RideLondon
Prudential RideLondon provides a fantastic platform to help fulfil The Mayor and TfL’s goal of encouraging more people to cycle more safely, more often. TfL anticipates tens of thousands of spectators and participants every year will take up regular cycling after each event. This will be achieved by creating massive engagement with participants, spectators and media alike.

There is no other closed-road event like it that combines the fun and accessible element of a free family ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclist’s race in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and Prudential RideLondon Classique.

Taking a cue from the London Marathon, amateur cyclists also participate in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 – a 100-mile challenge on the same closed roads as the professionals, with the added incentive of raising money for good causes. Since 2016, the event has also featured the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 – a 46-mile sportive created specifically for newer and also younger cyclists, and in 2018 the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 19 was added to the programme.

Prudential RideLondon also generates money for good causes; participants and spectators alike have raised more than £53 million for charity since 2013.

After the inaugural event in 2013, the vision for Prudential RideLondon – to be one of the world’s leading cycling events and a lasting legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games – has become reality.

My adventures in trying to gain a place…

I first applied to ride the Prudential RideLondon 100 in September 2013 to ride in the July 2014 event.

It is a ballot (names out of a hat) – apply in September and hear whether or not you have gained a place in February the following year (in this case 2014). Approx 80,000 cyclists apply every year.

I wasn’t lucky, and didn’t get a place. I carried on with my riding and enjoyed the summer. I applied again in September 2014 for the July 2015 event – again no luck…!

Maybe third time lucky – and applying in September 2015 for July 2016 – success – I managed to land a place.

On with the training and putting the miles in… and then the fates took a hand. Due to a combination of clashing dates, manflu and pressure from work and, of course, not having my Leopard Pro, I had to give up my place. However, the good news was that I could defer my place to the 2017 event. (which I did) – so now I have a confirmed place for 2017 and over 12 months to train…!

And then – more bad luck – I had my crash in Jan 2017 – but still hoped to ride in the July event. However, my recovery to full riding was taking time. I didn’t get on a bike for 3 months. And didn’t ride on the road for over a year.

My balance and spatial awareness were both ‘gone’. And having damaged my pelvic muscles – I was tending to walk in circles… There was no way, I was going to be in a position to ride a 100 mile sportive in 3 months’ time.

OK, I thought – let’s defer my place to 2018 – but you can’t do that… you can only defer once. So, it was back to the ballot, and surprise, surprise no luck this time either.

I wanted to ride in July 2018, as I would be 70 in 2018, just before the event. Therefore, I had to think up a cunning plan.

Cyclists Fighting Cancer

Having already raised funds for the Cyclists Fighting Cancer charity (Details HERE) I wanted to continue, so I approached the CFC and worked out a plan with them.

I would ride, for and on behalf, of the CFC promising to raise a minimum of £500 for them.

As my back was not a lot better, I thought it best to take some advice. Talking with the doctors / consultants / chiropractor and ophthalmologist (I was still experiencing ‘double vision’), they all felt that it would not be a “good idea”.

I had to tell the CFC that I had to cancel my ride, and if everything worked out, would ride in 2019. It was a case of falling back on the ballot again for July 2019.

So another year of the Turbo Trainer…

I entered the September 2018 Ballot on the day it opened… here’s hoping that I’m lucky enough to get a place for the 2019 Ride.

The seventh edition of the Prudential RideLondon 100 will take place over the weekend of 3rd – 4th August 2019.

Next Update – Feb 2019 to see if I’ve secured a place!

Feb 2019 – Commiserations… No entry once again… Seven years of trying and only one confirmed place…!

Anyway, on to Plan B. I rang the CFC  and they had charity places available for the 2019 Ride @ £75 with the expectation of also raising £300 for the Charity.

However, due to circumstances, family commitments etc… I was not going to be able to ride.

Sept 2019 – Entered the 2020 Ballot and am hoping for a place on the 2020 Ride London100.

The eighth Prudential Ride London will take place over the weekend of 15th /16th August 2020. It is a couple of weeks later than usual, due to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

I’ll be 72 in July 2020, so this will probably be the last time I’ll be able to ride the distance.

And even more concerning, 2020 may well be the last time the event is held.

We’ll see what Feb 2020 brings…!

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