My Ultimate Guide To RideLondon 2023

Boom! It’s [think of a number] days until the 2023 running of the RideLondon 100 kicks off (pedals off) from (presumably) the Embankment.

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 10 years (good grief) 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:

  1. Riding on closed roads in London is fugging amaze-balls.
  2. It’s fast – you’ll be surprised how fast you ride (but don’t go out too hard)
  3. Non-chiselled whippets are perfectly capable of finishing and posting a good time
  4. It’s well organised
  5. Spectator support in a sportive (virtually unheard of elsewhere…)
  6. It’s perfect for popping your imperial century cherry (‘imperial century’ being the term for a 100 mile bike ride)
  7. The collective experience of riding with 1,000s of other riders
  8. It’s a very friendly event (there are remarkably few extrémités cloches)
  9. The sense of a RideLondon community
  10. It’s not just a sportive; there is a whole festival of cycling spread across the weekend
  11. You’re helping to promote cycling in the UK (very good of you)

Everything You Could Possibly Want To Know About the RideLondon Route

Here is my video on the 2022 RideLondon event, which includes details on the routes and the climbs (here is the link if you want to read the article version).

Training For RideLondon

Here are some of my posts on training:

Also, a bonus, you should definitely get a bike fit.

RideLondon Pre-Event Preparations

(To be read in the few weeks before the event itself).

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:

My RideLondon kit list (including the stuff I took to my friend’s house, where we stayed the night before)

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).

If you’re participating in RideLondon, I wish you the very best of luck. You’ll have an awesome day.

Courage, mes braves!

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

15 thoughts on “My Ultimate Guide To RideLondon 2023”

  1. I have done Leith Hill twice now. The first time was when I learn that 12:23s in the back weren’t a good idea. Now I have 13:28s. It was still tough, but once I got to the top recovered well and was fine all the way to Box Hill.

    Box Hill is much, much easier than Leith. I thought Newlands Corner would be tough, but it wash’t too bad either. From my recon on Saturday, Surrey council have done a wonderful job on the roads. Beautifully smooth.

    • Thanks Michael. Ha! I’ve just realised that you’re talking about gear ratios. I was being a muppet and thinking you were talking about times! I have a 30 as my largest cassette cog and a compact set of chain rings (so 34 at the front). I was very thankful to have that combo on the day. For me it wasn’t so much about getting up Leith, it was more about doing it in such a way that I didn’t destroy my legs ahead of the remaining 40 or so miles. Good to hear that the roads are good throughout. Makes such a big difference.

      Good luck with your remaining training.

  2. I am travelling from Thailand to do the ride, I saw it randomly on Youtube in Feb and decided to book a spot for the event.

    Next week I am staying in Westcott, Surrey to have a few practice runs at these climbs. I have found all of your information great, after reading this latest post I am not worried about these climbs at all 🙂 I am running a compact crank on the front and a 12-32 cassette on the rear, “spinners are winners”, so I’ll be spinning my way to the top!

    It will be my first time in the UK and I’m guessing it’s a great way to see the place.

    Keep posting, keep up the good work, love your blog!

    • Thanks Som. Glad you’re enjoying the blog. The compact + 32 will be incredibly useful – being able to spin when you have other cyclists riding erratically is great.

  3. Nice to be reassured about the climbs on the ride. Thanks to your blogg i decided to ride both of hills before big day. And I must say my legs are stronger, was training in Richmond park today and I fel almost like flying 🙂
    I am bit nervous about the ride itself but at the same time I am so looking forward.
    Hopefully I can say : do not underestimate the girl with the ponytail 🙂

  4. Training going very well, including lots of ‘hilly stuff’ up & down the South Downs including a couple of 80 mile sportives. Then last Wdnesday – disaster – spectacular crash. Thank goodness for helmets, otherwise I’d be in a box. My own fault, too fast downhill and didn’t see the bend until too late. Hopefully, I can get out on the bike by next weekend and get the legs turning again before the big day. MUST ride it, I have £2000 sponsorship and draw my state pension in September, so probably last realistic chance of taking part. Here’s hoping……………………
    Thoroughly enjoy the blog and feeling reasonable about the hills.

    • That’s bad luck Paul. Hope you get back on the bike soon. I’m sure it’ll work out fine.

      (PS. There are quite a few blog readers here who will object to your comment about scaling back the cycling once you get your pension!!)

    • ”Last realistic chance” Don’t you believe it Paul – At 69 I am riding the London 100, my 4th sportive this year (and they were all much lumpier than Surrey) hope you make it for Aug 10th but if not – see you next year.

  5. This is really useful and helpful with good insights, thank you.
    I’ve struggled to keep to a strict training regime; relying on lots of hill climbs and mid distance (40 to 70 mile) sportive at weekends. I am about to go out on a 100 miles session (15 days before the event) to prove I can do it; then scaling back in the run up!
    Whilst a few years away from claiming my pension I am coming late to the sport but excited as a kid at Christmas!
    Keep up the good work.

  6. A very useful guide (did it last year but always good to refresh). By the way the route download you’ve got there is slightly wrong as in Kingston on the outward leg it turns right earlier than marked as it goes right after Tiffin School up Cromwell Road (the opposite way to the one way system) then after the bus station it turns right again and swings behind the station (as it did last year) then back onto Wood Street as shown. On the return leg the route goes through the market place (it couldn’t do this last year due to works but it was always the intention to put it through there) to the end of the bridge then right along Horsefair under John Lewis around the Wood Street in front of the station then left up Fairfield North as shown.

  7. Just yesterday did a, ehm .. sort of a recce … of the 2013 route, with a slight deviation, starting and finishing in Harrow, joining the route from Chiswick all the way round till the now closed Putney bridge.
    if the roads are closed this has a potencial to be a good ride, bot not a great one. Closed roads in London are fun, then till you hit Newlands Corner there’s not much to do but ride, really. Newlands got a sharp bit at the beginning, then eases off, its an easy climb. Nice fast straight-ish descent.
    Leith Hill was tough, the undulating parts either make it easier or harder, you have to try. Lovely dark adrenaline fueled high speed descent on the other side.
    Box is a steady ‘easy’ climb even after all those miles in the legs. Loved that sharp uphill bit after the tight left-hand turn. Route back to London a bit boring but fast-ish. Wimbledon hill is a nice surprise as is the much shorter ‘taster’ after Norbiton.
    Re: Gears – just to brag 🙂 I’ve got a triple 48-38-28 and 7speed 14-28 at the back. Climbed all in 38-24 lowest, even if it needed out-of-saddle effort.

  8. Well my wife and I have 7 days left before 2018 Ride London 100, the information has settled our last minuet nerves. its a great read and a big thank you.


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