Boom! It’s 20 days until the 2014 running of the RideLondon 100 kicks off (pedals off) from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Are you excited? You should be*.
(* Unless you’re not doing it, in which case, “meh”.)
In this post I’m going to
rehash share some of the stuff I’ve produced over the last 18 months relating to RideLondon. The aim is to inspire, inform and excite you, as well as reassuring anyone that’s having a last minute attack of nerves (headline message: DON’T PANIC, it’s going to be great).
11 Reasons Why You’re Going To Have A Great Time Riding RideLondon
A few years back, in a fit of post-event excitement, I penned a list of reasons to sign up for the following year’s RideLondon. Good news: all of the reasons still hold true.
Here’s a quick reminder of what you can look forward to:
- Riding on closed roads in London is fugging amaze-balls.
- It’s fast – you’ll be surprised how fast you ride (but don’t go out too hard)
- Non-chiselled whippets are perfectly capable of finishing and posting a good time
- It’s well organised (and will be even better after the experience of 2013)
- Spectator support in a sportive (virtually unheard of elsewhere…)
- It’s perfect for popping your imperial century cherry (‘imperial century’ being the term for a 100 mile bike ride)
- The collective experience of riding with 1,000s of other riders
- It’s a very friendly event (there are remarkably few extrémités cloches)
- The sense of a RideLondon community
- It’s not just a sportive; there is a whole festival of cycling spread across the weekend
- You’re helping to promote cycling in the UK (very good of you)
Everything You Could Possibly Want To Know About the RideLondon Route
I wrote this post about the RideLondon route in March 2013, not long after the course was first announced. It’s a useful primer. Note however that I wrote it before cycling up either Box Hill or Leith, so some of the stuff I included about gradients is, quite frankly, guff…
Then I went to ride a section of the route and learnt what wasn’t really worth worrying about – the hills – and what was (to a degree) – the distance:
The RideLondon 2014 is slightly (VERY slightly) different to the 2013. This post explains:
Whilst we’re at it, that 2014 post contains a link to the route mapped out using RideWithGPS, in case you want to download a GPS file for your Garmin (other cycling computers are available). The usual disclaimers apply (it may not be 100% accurate, the organisers may change the route, the Kingston section goes against the normal flow of traffic so don’t ride that before race day):
Finally, if you’re more of a graphical sort of person, here is the RideLondon route in cartoon form (click to enlarge):
Here Comes The Hill Climber (Herd ’em Up)
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb – Nelson Mandela
Whilst that Madiba quote might be true in life, he never rode RideLondon. After you’ve climbed the great hills of Leith and Box (and the slightly lesser one of Newlands Corner), you won’t find many more hills to climb (other than an annoying little surprise slope in Wimbledon).
Anyhoo, I wrote detailed treatises on both Leith Hill and Box Hill, which I bring to you here via the magic of the hyperlink:
Final RideLondon Preparations
There is no phrase more likely to strike fear in to the heart of the amateur endurance athlete (for yes, you are they) than, ‘You should now be coming to the end of your training programme’.
You should now be coming towards the end of your training programme. Or at least you should be into the final 10 or so days of real effort, after which you’ll be tapering.
Don’t skimp on the taper. The temptation, particularly if you’re worried that you’ve not done enough training, is to ride hard right up until the eve of the event. This is self-defeating. Any fitness gains you make in the final week will be offset on the day by fatigue from not being fully rested. At least give yourself 5-7 days of rest and very short, mostly light sessions.
Pure fitness is not the only ingredient you’ll need for a successful ride. Being organised in terms of your food and drink, and the other items you’ll need to carry on the day, will have an impact on your enjoyment of the day and the time you post:
I went a little overboard in my pre-event analysis of what I would need to eat, writing a detailed ‘nutrition plan’. You certainly don’t need to do this – the bananas, energy drinks and other snacks available at the feed stations, along with a couple of gels and some Jelly Babies in your jersey pocket will be enough to get you round. My full ‘overboard post’ on RideLondon nutrition is available here.
Finally, you’ll want to spend a few minutes perusing my thoughts on the ‘optimal’ way to spend the night before RideLondon… (don’t sue me).
Please Share This Post
If you’re participating in RideLondon, I wish you the very best of luck. You’ll have an awesome day.
If you’ve found this post useful (and even if you didn’t), please can you do me a big favour by sharing it with as many people as possible. Click a few of buttons below to post it to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. It will make my day, as well as help out a few people that might be looking for RideLondon information.
Courage, mes braves!