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  • alasdairdchisholm

Ride London Essex 2023

Although five of us were down to ride the 100 mile Ride London Essex Sportive different start times meant Ian Michael Smith started earlier so this is his...

Solo jaggy report.

So the Essex boy returns this time with a few tricks learnt in Scotland like how to ride a road bike at a fairly decent pace.

Logistical nightmare getting organised to get on the start line, but all went to plan and 5 o clock alarm stirred me into action with overnight oats and coffee in my Premier Inn room so delighted they encourage bikes into their hotels.

Down to the start thought I knew where I was going from Farringdon but followed the plethora of bikes, so lemon squeezy and in plenty time.

Had Route on but after a quick conflab never bothered loading after seeing just how many bikes were gonna be on this route. Chilly at the start with all the tall buildings of the city blocking out the warming rays, some folk chittering, was grateful for the arm warmers. Seemed not too long a wait before we got started think I was just in awe of the size of this event and all the iconic landmarks as we headed down the Mall to the start, something awesome about riding your bike down a flag lined Mall from the Palace.

Of course played safe and waited for the field to thin before hitting any efforts but the course felt fast and plenty space with whole roads shut off to traffic and picked up pace fairly soon. First thing to watch out for was sunnies as you hit the dark underpasses and couldn’t see much of the road as you hit speed descending into them. Awesome riding them once you sorted a strategy for this with 2 lanes and bags of room too.

Seemed not so long before heading through Walthamstow and towards Epping and Ongar working through various large and small groups and solo efforts.

At the 46 mile mark we hit a stoppage as there had been an accident ahead but was too far back to see any evidence or outcome. Again due to build up of riders took a while for a bit of thinning out for safer riding, was working up a nice speed when things felt a bit squishy on the back wheel due to what transpired to be a slowish puncture. New tube and back on the road then into the next pit stop for a convenient pressure top up at the mechanic station and to reassure myself it wasn’t going down a second time.

Still feeling pretty good decided no more stoppages for me and although a little low on water planned to make it last as the miles seemed to be going down fast.

Once hitting the A12 with 3 lanes to play with, felt a real buzz and cranked up the pace mostly solo efforts now.

Back on the underpasses and heading into the city heard wooping behind me then an almighty smack and a bike hitting the wall, first thoughts of turning back to try and help as tried to look back but realised a whole heap of people would be stopping, pulled over to first marshal to make sure proper help would get there fast as poss. I sincerely hope the rider/s? were OK. Most folks had slowed up a good bit at this point as we all felt bad for those involved.

Finally the Grand sight of Tower Bridge brought some cheer and the legs kicked in again for a good effort to finish.

Quickly spotted a pub opposite a park met up with the family and grabbed much needed iced lemonades for some hydration.

A fast route and an Iconic ride made for a cracking day, helped somewhat by the awesome weather.

Also riding as a threesome Al Chisholm, Ailsa Smart and Zoe Smart. Jimmy William cracked out an amazing PB for the course on the sunrise shift.

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