Runderwear – Pants

A little while ago, the chaps at Runderwear got in touch, they wanted to showcase their seamless underpants.

As a cyclist I explained that I’m not that interested in pants during exercise. As many of you fellow Pedal Pushers might do, when I’m on my bike, in my Lycra enjoying the wind through my helmet, I don’t wear undergarments. They get in the way and stop your comfy chamois working as it should. Actually wearing underwear while cycling can add to the chaffing! At Runderwear they felt confident that these next level undercrackers would be beneficial to new cyclists who may not be as keen to fully embrace the Lycra. I was sceptical.

I should say, I usually have lots of photos to accompany my blog posts. Don’t you worry dear reader, I’m not going to be taking pictures of me in my pants!

When the pants arrived, available in briefs or boxers, they didn’t exactly jump out at me. Which was nice really, I don’t suppose you want your pants to be showy! They’re understated in black with a blue trim, quite classy. The key thing about these pants is that they’re seamless, so they’re not meant to rub or chafe as you wear them.

  • The fit

In trying them on, they reminded me of a pair of ill fitting bib shorts. Baggy in the middle and not quite ‘right’. I had to double check I didn’t have them on back to front! It felt really odd pulling bib shorts on over the top of boxers and instantly the shorts scrunched the boxers up. Even though there is a gripper layer so the boxers shouldn’t ride up, the power of the Lycra was too much in this instance. Sorting that out you could still see the line of the Runderwear underneath my bibs. This made me feel a little bit conscious. I don’t know why, it’s not like wearing no pants at all is less on show but it just made me think “Oh, great – now everyone can see my pants.”

  • Performance booster?

Once they were on and I was riding though, I didn’t notice anything beneficial from having them on. In fact, I didn’t notice them at all. Which was nice, I kept thinking they wouldn’t allow my chamois to work effectively or that they would add to any form of chaffing but they were completely unrecognisable.

They’re sweat wicking and breathable too – again as a cyclist, so are my bib shorts. I wouldn’t want to, or feel the need to, add an extra barrier.

  • Worth the money?

Not for me I’m afraid, if I don’t notice them doing anything other than being noticeable to others then I don’t see why I would spend the £13 on a brief or £18 on the boxers. I mean it’s not like I wear underwear when cycling in the first place.

They’re 100% seamless chafe free underwear and they were exactly that. I guess they may stop you from buying lots of chamois cream. I think the clues in the name, these are for the running market. Unless I’m going to do a Froome up Ventoux then, personally, it’s a no from me.

The Links

You can buy a pair of Runderwear pants and check out their range here

You can follow me on Twitter here

You can see my Instagram here

You can ‘Like’ me on Facebook here

And you can see my other blog posts here

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Wahoo ELEMNT – An alternative to Garmin

Wahoo! Finally, an alternative to Garmin and it’s from the aptly named people at Wahoo – may I introduce you to the Wahoo ELEMNT.

Now, I’m not going to do a side by side review, I’m just going to tell you straight what this Wahoo has to offer. It’s up you if you want to go Android over Apple, I’m not here to tell you that you should do this or that, what I am here to tell you is the Wahoo ELEMNT is great. I’m not going to make you read all the way through to find that out, I’m telling you from the off, it’s brilliant.

For £249.99 it does go head to head with the Garmin Edge 520 – that’s the only comparison I’m going to make – it’s up to you to make the choice but hopefully you will gain some insight from this post.

Let’s talk a little about Wahoo Fitness because you may not know too much about them, it’s a tech-fitness company that has created a whole raft of sensors and devices for runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. Founded in 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia – they’ve gone on rapid growth and over the past three years have supplied Team Sky with their KICKR for warm ups, cool downs and indoor sessions. Not only do they supply Team Sky with the KICKR, Wahoo Fitness also supplies Team Sky with the TICKR (always missing out letters these Americans…) to track the heart rate of the Team Sky riders. So already, in six short years, supplying arguably the strongest team in the Pro Peloton, right now – impressive.FullSizeRender

So, now we know that Wahoo Fitness come with credentials, what does the ELEMNT come with?

Well, opening the box you have three mounts, cable ties, a micro USB charger and of course, the Wahoo ELEMNT it’s self. First impressions are good, it’s not huge, coming in at 105 grams you wonder as to how they’ve managed to put a whole GPS unit, battery which will last for around 7 hours and all the electronics to make the Wahoo tick over. Incidentally Wahoo claim on the box that the ELEMNT has a week worth of battery, surely that depends on how much you ride in a week.

FullSizeRender[2]On powering up, Wahoo Fitness are obviously very proud of their KICKR as there’s what looks like a team sky rider pedalling away as the ELEMNT ‘warms up’ and searches for any updates. If it’s the first time you’re turning on your ELEMNT and you’re keen to get riding, you need to sync this powerful little tool to your phone first. This is so easy to do, you need the Wahoo ELEMNT free App and to go to ‘Pair Phone’ in the ELEMNT menu. This is easy enough to do in the Wahoo ELEMNT App, you scan the QR on the phone and hey presto, as long as your Bluetooth is on, you’ve got yourself a fully paired phone and sensor. Simples.

Functionality and ease to use on the ELEMNT must have been in the mission statement because I have never been able to navigate my way around a device so easily and comfortably. Within seconds, my phone was paired to the ELEMNT and I could of gone off on a ride there and then.

However, I wanted to try out the ELEMNTs trump card, the Turn by Turn (Or TBT as Wahoo are calling it, obviously) Navigation.

This is the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT trump card, it offered riders an easy navigational system that can be followed by prompts, while this is only available for rides you have either downloaded or built on RideWithGPS. You can still download routes which you have made on Strava and follow these with the on screen mapping system, it doesn’t give you the same prompts as you get with RideWithGPS, best of all you don’t even need a paid for membership! You can use your free membership, how cool is that?

IMG_9621Once you’ve created your route you simply pull it to your ELEMNT, it’s super easy as you can link many different accounts to your ELEMNT; Strava, RideWithGPS, iPhone Health App, even Garmin Connect. The next time you power up your ELEMNT and pair it with your phone, it will automatically update the maps and you can choose them for your next ride! It really is that easy, there’s no plugging in to your laptop / PC it just uses the power of your smart phone.

What’s best about the Turn by Turn navigation, even if you’ve turned the wrong way, it can think, it will bring up new prompts to bring you back on to the road you should be on. The prompts appear differently depending on which page you’re on, on the map page they display as a banner mid-way across the screen, whereas on the elevation plot and regular data pages they’ll appear on the bottom.ELEMNT_TurnByTurnMap_Rd2

If you go the wrong way, the LED’s across the top of the ELEMNT flash read and you get what can only be described as a whimper, not a BEEP! Which is what it should be. Wahoo have said though that they’re looking at making the audio prompts louder, which they need to be because when you’re on a busy road or chatting with friends as you cycle along, you can’t really hear them.

ELEMNT on BarsSee those LED light’s I just mentioned? Not only do they indicated when you have to turn and if you’re going the right or wrong way, but the ones down the left hand side really help you train. They start playing on you, you can set them to your average speed, average watts or average heart rate and they will tell you how you are performing on that ride. They really make you push your fitness goals and also make you feel really disheartened when you’re climbing a hill and all of a sudden you see your speed dwindling down from a floating 18mph to 7mph in no time at all! These lights also help you train when you have the ELEMNT paired up with the KICKR, I did not have the luxury of having the KICKR for this test though. All signs from other reviews report that it works well though.

It’s of course not just about the flashy lights and knowing which way to go. The ELEMNT just seems to be able to have Bluetooth add on after add on, you can link your Heart Rate Monitor to it, your gears – so you can see which gear your in at any one time. Your watt reader or even your KICKR – you can even see the elevation that’s coming up on the routes which you’ve loaded in. That really helps you when you are trying to figure out how much pain you have to shut out up the climbs. It seems to have all the bases covered, if your device is ANT+ or Bluetooth, you’re pretty damn certain that the ELEMNT can connect to it!

IMG_9627You will notice in my pictures I have the Backlight on for most of them, this isn’t on because I need it to be on to read the screen. The screen on the ELEMNT is super crisp, so easy to read, at a glance, in direct sunlight, at night – I have never had an issue with the screen.

While we’re on the subject of the screen, you’ll notice while you’re riding along with the map page up, people’s names popping up and seeing where they are on the map. These are other Wahoo ELEMNT users, this really helps bring a cycling culture about, you cans see their user name and where they are on the map, if you’re lucky enough it might be one of your friends and you can go join them. If they’re not on an instructed solo from the missus that is!

ELEMNT_SegmentGoThere is a little more to offer, the latest update on the ELEMNT allows you to take full advantage of Strava Live Segments. You do this by simply starring a segment on Strava.com. Then, whenever a starred segment is encountered on a ride, the ELEMNT will then bring up a dedicated Strava Live Segment page showing segment progress, distance remaining, as well as the segment’s full elevation profile. Additionally, the Strava Live Segment page can be customised via the ELEMNT companion app to display other key metrics such as power and heart rate.

When riding a Strava Live Segment, the ELEMNT’s LEDs come in to play again, especially for riders searching for that KOM or personal best. The top row of LEDs indicate a rider’s progress within the segment, lighting up sequentially, while the side row of LEDs indicate the whether the rider is over or under the pace for the KOM, their personal best, or the pace of a pre-selected opponent.

ELEMNT_SegmentFinalPushWhen a rider enters the final 200m of a segment and is within 2 seconds of their target (KOM, personal best or opponent), a helpful ‘Final Push’ page takes over the display to alert and motivate the rider. Once the segment is completed, a segment history page allows riders to review all Strava Live Segments ridden up to that point in the ride, rather than having to wait until the ride is finished to see how they performed.

So, as you have probably now read, Wahoo’s first foray in to the GPS market seems to be a successful one. They have come out with a few new ideas and certainly thrown the gauntlet down to Garmin. There are features on the ELEMNT, which Garmin does not have, such as Bluetooth Smart sensor support or loading of routes from third parties (Strava RideWithGPS, etc.) that could persuade buyers toward the ELEMNT instead.  On the other hand, it could be the slightly crisper ELEMNT screen. Who knows. All I know is that the ELEMNT is a very strong riding partner and I was very lucky to have it in my life for a month.

Bravo Wahoo!

The Links!

You can Buy a Wahoo ELEMNT here

You can follow me on Twitter here

You can see my Instagram here

You can ‘Like’ me on Facebook here

And you can see my other blog posts here

My Cycle To Work Scheme – Canyon RoadLite

In my latest series of blogs on cycling to work in the city I take a look at the Canyon RoadLite.


The guys over at Canyon got in touch and thought that this bike is the perfect bike for getting yourself in to the office in maximum comfort and style, and why not? Canyon make some fantastic bikes and are the supplier of pro team, Movistar. They have seen Nario Quintana ride to a Giro d’Italia Grand Tour victory and to second place, behind overall winner Chris Froome, in the Tour de France, taking the White Jersey in 2013. On top of all this, at the Rio Olympics 2016 they are supplying bikes for 20 different athletes from 10 different countries.

To say these bikes have a thoroughbred then could be seen as an understatement, so what’s next for the German brand? Well, commuting it seems – and the Germans seem to take getting to work seriously. Canyon claim their aim while developing the RoadLite was to take the performance from the Grand Tour winning road bikes and combine that with comfort and this machine is ready to take you to a king of the commute. While it’s not a flat out road bike, it’s still a good weekend explorer, a road racer it is not, this is a fitness bike.

So, what do you pull out the box when it’s delivered? Well, if you’ve ordered the same bike which Canyon sent me, the RoadLite AL 6.0, then you’ll notice the box wasn’t too heavy to carry from the delivery van to your home. For £719 you get a 9.20kg aluminium bike frame, two Mavic Crossone wheels, a Iridium saddle and a Canyon seat post with VCLS tech for extra comfort and stability. Canyon even through in a couple of in house made pedals too. This bike really does take aluminium to another level, I didn’t think that getting a bike this sturdy and this light was possible with just aluminium alone. However, if you spend an extra £250 Canyon will shed a further 700 grams by upgrading the gears and cranks from Shimano 105 to Shimano Ultegra, changing the wheels to DT Swiss R 24’s and giving you a carbon fibre seat post.

For me the paying the extra £250 isn’t really worth it. If I were to buy this bike it would be a commuter, for that reason I don’t see the need to upgrade from the 105 to the Ultegra and get a couple of other jazzy upgrades. The middle of the road model, which this one is, is just right.

But what is it like to ride? Well, I pumped the 28mm tyres up to 90psi and took it out for a 6 mile spin (similar to that of a commute) and you can find that on my Strava, if you want to look through it. I have to say, the bike is well balanced and extremely comfortable. Averaging around 12 mph the bike just cruises, there’s very little chance to get above 12 mph average cycling around central London to work, so this was a great little run out for this test. I didn’t even brake in to too much of a sweat, which was comforting to know if I were cycling to the office I wouldn’t be arriving in a shower of sweat.

I found the bike stable and able to absorb the bumps and divots in the road, even though the saddle isn’t overly padded, you don’t feel the need for it to be as you don’t feel sharp juddering bumps up in to your nether regions.

Let’s have a quick chat about the wheel base, it’s quite long. I got my measuring tape out and measured 110cm, compared to my road bike that’s 10cm more. which you would think would make the bike feel cumbersome and lethargic through the bends, not so, the bike still holds some cornering ability, it’s not as sharp as your road bike though.

Yes Alex Dowsett, if you are reading, I agree – these can get very hot!

That’s not so much as an issue through because you’ll be able to scrub off your speed without issue. It comes with disc brakes… ooohhhh. Now they’re bad aren’t they? No, they’re not. They’ve just been shunned by the pro peloton over safety concerns. The concerns being that it would encourage riders to descend mountains harder knowing they could slow down quicker. Also they heat up, if there was a crash and people have

You can see the stays for normal rim brakes if you replace them.

jammed their brakes on, you have a hot disc  coming towards your face… Not cool. The brakes on this bike, however – while they do still get hot – are fantastic. I know I keep going back to it but for a commute, you need sharp brakes, you never know when someone could step out on you, cut you up or just give you a reason to have to hit the brakes. I’ve never been so confident in hitting my brakes, you quickly drop your speed and not in a throw you over the handle bars kind of way. Worth a mention, there’s still the stays for rim brakes if you really feel the need to replace them.

You can also see the internal cables for the gears here.

You’ll notice the handle bars are a mini version of the bull bars you used to have on your mountain bike as a kid, so that when you were throwing your bike around it was softer on your supple hands. This is no different, while the brakes and gear are in the usual position you can position your hands slightly wider on the bars just for an added bit of comfort, a nice touch. I found the gears slightly awkward though, while they clicked in to place perfectly, I found them too central on the bars and with my hands sitting slightly wider it added a little movement of the wrist to click through the gears which just felt slightly off.

So, would I part with my cash for this bike?

Of course – I would happily ride it every day to and from the office. It would even be a nice little weekend warrior with the family, it’s so versatile. Stick a couple of paneers on there and you’ve even got yourself a shopping bike! What’s really notable is the little bits of detail on the bike. there are stickers near the cables to stop them from scratching the frame, the gear cables are even internal! On a bike for less than a grand! Unheard of. The colour scheme is superb and it’s very classy. A great bike for the price and getting you to the office!

Here you can see the plastic labels to stop the frame getting scuffs from the cables.

The Links

You can buy a Canyon RoadLite and browse the range here

You can ‘Like’ me on Facebook here

You can follow me on Twitter here

See my other blog posts here

Follow me on Instagram here

Ribble Sportiva – Women’s Road Bike Review

I think we could all agree, the only thing us British people seem to be good at is cycling. Since the Wiggo inspired revolution of 2012, we’ve seen British Cycling grow and grow. Boris Johnson introduced major cycle lanes in to the heart of London and Saqid Kahn looks to extend the cycle route with the new plans of CS11. Each morning I cycle to work, there seems to be more and more cyclists enjoying the commute in to the office.

Over the last 12 months, British Cycling have been able to draw up the following stats:

  • 2,069,200 adults in England now cycling at least once every week
  • 3,628,400 adults in England now cycling at least monthly
  • Over half a million regular cyclists are women, an increase of 2% in the last 12 months.
  • 385,600 young people now ride bikes frequently
  • Frequent cycling among people with an impairment is now at 184,000

Considering such a boom, certainly in the male market, it would be natural that the female market would follow suit. However, it seems to be that, even though there is a large proportion of female riders and enthusiasts, the help, bikes and tech may not be there for women as it is for men.

My wife – she wouldn’t of even cared for a bike race or event before she met me, in the years I’ve been with her, she has now; been to see three stages of the Tour de France, watch Wiggo go around a track for an hour and attends regular spin classes to keep fit. I know I’ve done a wonderful job. On the sofa the other night though I caught something in her eye, it was a reflection on from the iPad… She was looking at bikes and she admitted it. She wanted to take on the open road, feel the wind through her helmet on the country lanes and experience cycling on the roads. I was made up. Obviously, I started with all the questions to which I got a blank expression, talking about groupsets got me no where and when I mentioned the length of the handlebar stem I got a roll of the eyes as if I was putting in some sort of sorry cycling innuendo.

So it was a bit of a challenge as to which manufacturer to choose. However, the guys over at Ribble stepped up to the plate. They got in touch, as they too are keen to get involved with the cycling boom. One of the biggest online bike dealers in the UK, Ribble specialises in using quality, thoroughly road-tested frames from the far east as the basis of their customer-specced bike packages. They offer exceptional value, with fully built carbon bikes available for under £800. As an entry level bike, they offered up the Ribble Spotiva, an introduction to the Sportive range of Ribble bikes. With a 7005 frame, an aluminium alloy with amazing strength to weight ratio. It’s the same alloy used on the men’s frame, the only difference is this is set up for female geometry. Meaning it has a lower stand over height and a shorter top tube.

The handle bars are slightlu pointing backwars, but that is what my wife finds comfortable

The guys at Ribble were really good, what they didn’t know, you don’t need to know. They chatted my wife through all the selection options and even the length of her pedal arm. Of course when someone else starts talking to you about it, it’s then interesting isn’t it?! I could have sworn I’ve bored her to tears over cycling subjects for years…

Pedal stem chosen and handle bar tape changed to Celeste colour, the bike arrived in super quick time.

After ordering, my wife is a lover of reviews so we both did some digging to see if this outlay really meant this was the bike for her. However, the only review we could find of the bike was in The Good Housekeeping Institute. I find this slightly off, so here we go, here’s my attempt!

The bike arrived in almost one piece, all it needed was the handlebars fitting on, the saddle height adjusted and the pedals screwing on. All of which we did together, not even an issue – we were ready to ride.

While she uses SPD cleats in her spin class and is used to them, using them out on the road is another thing! They’re really good pedals to get used to a new bike and also riding on the road in cleats in. I picked them up on Wiggle for £28.99. With a couple of up charges – Tiagra Groupset, R501 wheels, Continental Ultra Sport tyres, a white handlebar steam and the all important Celeste handlebar tape – the total cost of the bike: £678.89

Even a bike which was ordered online and got delivered in a box to me, the gears didn’t need and fiddling with, changing down and through them wasn’t an issue, each gear changed was met with a satisfying ‘thunk’ in to gear.


First off, the transition from spin class to road brings in different factors; road surface, wind, weather conditions and other road users. The perfect place for us to start the full test and transition was down at the Olympic Velodrome where they have an outdoor mile long circuit, for cyclists only. For £6 you can cycle around pretty much all day, there’s toilet and water facilities on a circuit which has everything but a mega long climb (it is only a mile after all) but it does have a couple of short upward kicks.

Back to the bike – well, in short, it performs fantastically. Not only does it have fantastic weight for it’s price but upgraded the Groupset from the 105 to Tiagra gives miles better performance for only £39.99 on Ribble, it’s well worth it.


For a first time rider who is wanting to tackle road cycling head on I think its a great introductory bike. The balance of the bike is something which is very noticeable, it really gives you the confidence to ride the bike.

Gone are the days of a women’s bike just having a Top Tube which is easier to step over, Ribble have changed the geometry slightly so rather than just shifting the saddle forwards and fitting a much shorter stem, all of which could make for a twitchy, uncomfortable ride. Ribble have made the overall reach so that handling is not compromised. This is super noticeable because on the mile long circuit there are some tight twisty bits which the Sportiva glides through, with ease. Theres no mid corner twitch or worry, you can really get in to the corner at speed with confidence. To this improved handling setup the addition of a carbon front fork and you have a smoother ride that (slightly) reduces bumps and stones which may make you worry on the corners.

On this short and punchy circuit the bike performed admirably, it seemed to eat up the sprint, feeling stiff and ridged and that every pedal stoke had a purpose, to put as much power through the chain as possible. Flat out sprints were strong and sharp rising out the saddle to hammer down the power isn’t an issue and neither is negating a small bump in the road, up and out the saddle the pedals feel light enough underneath you to tap through your cadence with confidence of tackling the climb.

To a slightly longer ride – as the frame shares its build with the mens 7005 Sportive, you get the same sort of no messing from this frame. It’s great for a Sportive or leisure ride. Longer days in the saddle are comfortable and I’m pleased to say that uphill climbs are almost a joy. Almost. Having the bladed forked Shimano R501 wheels also helped here, while they’re not super light and the raciest of wheels, they are solid and they bring the weight down a bit. They’re durable and replacement spoke are easy enough to come by, they’re a welcome addition.

IMG_9652

To sum up, its a great first time bike, it brings together many elements; looks, durability, set up and low weight. it’s perfect for an entry level bike which will help you to decide whether you want to start taking things a little more seriously in a year or so. Easily enough to add stuff on to like better wheels, pedals or even electronic gears, we couldn’t be happier with it. Well done Ribble!

The Links!

You can follow me on Twitter here

You can build and buy your own Sportiva bike here

Follow me on Instagram here

Read my other blog posts here

And you can ‘Like’ me on Facebook here

Twitter Give Away! Bio Synergy

This week I’ve teamed up with Bio Synergy and together we’re giving away over £70 worth of Bio Synergy products!

Founded in 1997 out of a passion for health and fitness and a desire to create the first clean, effective and high quality range of sports nutrition, to the support the goals of athletes and fitness enthusiasts to fuel their performance and make it happen.

Since its launch, over 4 million passionate sports and fitness enthusiasts have chosen Bio-Synergy to achieve their goals and fuel their performance. Bio-Synergy sports supplements have been used by many of the world’s most respected athletes and teams.

So what’s included in this £70 bundle?

  • Bio Synergy Water Bottle
  • Performance Power Beet Beetroot Capsules
  • Performance Omega 3,6 & 9 Capsules
  • Pure Energy Isotonic High Performance Energy Drink

What do you have to do to win such a prize? Well, it’s simple, all you have to do is go to my Twitter page and Retweet this tweet.

A winner will be picked at random and will be announced on Wednesday the 10th of August.

Performance Power Beet

Performance-Range-PowerbeetPower Beet® has been the subject of numerous scientific studies which have demonstrated that supplementation with beetroot can improve endurance and exercise performance, so if you don’t fancy the idea of eating more beetroot or drinking the juice, these easy to use, convenient and accurate capsules are the ideal solution for boosting your performance.

 

Performance Omega 3,6 & 9

Performance-Range-Omega369High strength Omega 3, 6 & 9 for brain and eye function. Whether you are a performance athlete, gym goer or concerned about your health, you know doubt will have heard of omega, 3, 6 & 9 and the various benefits associated with them.

 

 

Pure Energy Isotonic High Performance

Pure-EnergyPure Energy® isotonic sports drink offers every athlete an effective solution to their hydration needs whilst also providing instant energy release for stamina and wellbeing. Formulated using proven sports science, Pure Energy was developed to help every athlete to maximise their performance and exercise with PB beating energy, stamina and hydration.

Pure Energy® contains a unique blend of carbohydrates for advanced, slow releasing energy to help you achieve the most out of your training and athletic performance.

Bio-Synergy’s Final Word

“Our aim is to be the number one sports nutrition company in the world,” Bio-Synergy shareholder & former Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe.

The Links!

You can follow me on Twitter here

View my other blog posts here

Look at the Bio-Synergy range here

Follow my Instagram here

See me on Strava here

RideLondon – Surrey

So there we have it, my first RideLondon and I’m pretty chuffed with myself to be honest.

100 miles completed in 5 hour 43 minutes. Rode the whole way with my brother alongside me – no cramping up and feeling like I was going to explode, until the last 50 metres when I realised I couldn’t sprint for the line!

I have to say, it was a really enjoyable ride, once it got going – it was a bit of a stop start morning for me, I didn’t think I’d make it to the start line! Here is why, my brother had come down from Birmingham with his partner on the Saturday, they had endless delays and didn’t get down here until late. We made a dash to the Excel, to register, missed Poplar tube stop where we had to change for the next tube to the Excel but got there with half an hour to spare to have a quick look around after registering. Here was me hoping that that, was it. No more bad luck please, Nice easy ride to the start and a safe ride around in sub six hours, please! However, my brother had other plans.

Not only did he struggle to get himself up in the morning for the ride but as we were carrying our bikes down the stairs (I live in flats, it’s only one flight, what could go wrong? Done it a hundred times) he somehow manages to slip and find his middle finger pointing in the wrong direction.

A sharp pull and with a satisfying click, it was back in place. Both looking at each other and thinking, ‘you are fine to ride. We are not going back, or to the hospital. You are doing this.’

The stream of cyclists on the way to the start was enough to get anyone ready to ride. It was exciting to see that many people in the cycle lanes of London and finally, the dream come true cycling London on closed roads. I have to interject myself here and say, well done to the organisers for getting everyone going pretty much bang on time! Amazing achievement.

I’ve never been from East to West London so fast, the combination of the closed roads, excitement and an ever changing peloton made sure we whipped through. Finally through Richmond Park and on to Kingston I was happy to leave London behind and get out towards the dreaded climbs…

One thing I did find is that there wasn’t that much chatter between riders, in sportives I’ve competed in of old, there is a good nitter natter, passing the time. The only thing I heard people do in this one in generally bitch and moan about other riders on the road. It’s the biggest sportive in the country, there’s going to be other riders on the road and yes, some of a different ability to you. So shouting “LEFT! LEFT!” at someone who is already riding in the gutter when there’s loads of room on the right just makes you look silly.

I did get slightly disgruntled at how seriously some people took this, everyone has their own agenda and that’s fine. Everyone wants to get around as quickly as possible, but please, give those going slower than you a break and enjoy yourself! It’s a sportive, not a race. At the bottom of Leith Hill, we pretty much came to a stand still, the bleep off Garmin’s going in to Autopause almost managed to drown out the amount of people complaining. Two chaps to my left summed it up, one was just getting really angry and almost started doing a Froome by running (this time with his bike) up Leith Hill, the other just started laughing and thought it was brilliant. I’m in the latter camp, however, starting Leith Hill from pretty much a standing start was not a laughing matter!

Then, came the descent, two completely separate incidents – and again a bit chapeau to the marshals here – ended with two people who were both being put in a neck brace and both of which needed the fantastic medical attention that such a sportive brings. Again though, people were getting annoyed that they were being told to slow down and stop. Bigger picture guys.

On a less moaning note though, the support! Wow, riding through Dorking, I sat up and had a look around at everyone lining the streets, cheering, getting excited at a load of completely unknown cyclists pedalling through their village. It was fantastic, I wanted to pull over and buy a burger and have a beer! My brother wouldn’t let me though, said it would slow us down for going up Box… Pft. The beautiful Surrey Countryside ahead of you and a wonderful looking town, thank you so much to every single supporter. Your support was greatly appreciated and helped, a lot! Not just in Dorking but along the whole course!

It’s amazing how your mind finds the smallest things funny when you’re out on a long ride. Short of my brother dislocating his finger, the thing that really tickled me was a conversation I overhead while going up Box Hill. A very short conversation between what I think was a couple. He wasn’t getting up as easily as her, the conversation went like this:

Her: “Just put it in a lower gear and spin it out.”

Him: “Yeah. Thanks, love.”

Just the advice you need as you’re struggling to get along.

The ride back in to London was so very enjoyable, I even enjoyed Wimbledon Hill! It’s true, I knew that after that, it’s plain sailing straight to The Mall. However, I think I was praying for it too quick as every time I glanced down at my Wahoo ELEMNT (blog coming on this shortly) the distance rarely seemed get closer to the magical 100!

A really enjoyable day, and then as I type this out, there is also the very sad news of Robin Chard suffering cardiac arrest around the 25 mile mark. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, such a tragedy. The money which Robin raised and continues to raise on his Just Giving page is fast approaching the £30,000 mark. Chapeau Robin.

See you again soon RideLondon.

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