4th August 2019
Darryl, Rob, Drew & Me.
After many years of returned entry forms for this event, we were in, thanks to Darryl who had the foresight to enter us in as a team of 4.
Logistically it was a bit of a pain, first of all we had a start time of 06:16am and had to be in the pen for 05:46, plus we had to collect our entry kit from Excel by the latest 5pm on the Saturday!
Rob elected to drive us up in his Merc Saturday afternoon and Daz had booked us into an apartment for the night, 2 miles South of the Olympic Stadium.
Traffic was a pain and after checking into the apartment we made it to the Excel with 30 minutes to spare. To say the area that we were staying in was rough is an understatement, Rob had a real battle finding a safe place to leave his car. Rob was also suffering from a heavy cold and we drew lots to see who was going to sleep in the same room as him, Darryl drew the short straw whilst I geared myself up for spending the night in the same bed as Drew, luckily we managed to get another mattress and we all had our own bed.
Up at 4:15am and it was a quick turn around to empty the apartment, load the car up and ride to the start. Made our start pen with a few minutes to spare and we were off at 06:16!
The start of the ride wasn’t a mad rush like ToC Gran Fondo and it was good to settle into a nice rhythm. The roads were dry and it was fairly warm, the venge was puring and riding through closed roads was epic. I tried not to get carried away and kept it measured. Rob however was struggling and he only managed a 50 metre turn on the front, around mile 45 he decided to head to Guildford and head back to the car.
Myself, Drew & Daz pressed on and we rode very smoothly together and it really was turning out to be an epic ride and route, past the Tower of London, Richmond Park, Chiswick, Kingston Bridge, Newlands Corner, Holmbury St. Mary, Leith Hill, Wotton, Dorking (stopped to say hello to Phil), Box Hill (nearly ran off the ride here going up hill), Leatherhead, Esher, paved streets of Kingston, Richmond, Wimbledon, Embankment and finishing on The Mall. The pace was high and we finished with a time of 5 hours, 17 minutes. Considering we had a Rob tyre issue stop, a Phil stop and 3 pit stops it was a good time.