Richard’s story

Saturday 1st September

My day started at 5am, I got up and got ready to ride to Richmond park. So I set off from Peckham at ten to 6 in the morning, riding through Camberwell to Vassall Road then through bRixton to Clapham. It was that early in the morning people are still waiting to go home after partying and the roads were pretty quiet which was nice. I rode through Wandsworth finally arriving at Roehampton College at the start line around 7.10am. Fiona was there to meet us, so I waited until the others arrived at 8.30am. I set off with Phil and his friend, I realised I had the wrong bike as I took my hybrid and not the road bike. Shortly after setting off we almost ended up in a collision as Phil’s water bottle fell off, so we set off again and within 5 minutes I had a problem.

My chain got stuck and so my colleagues were gone after about 10-15 minutes I was back on route, then got lost and travelled about 2.5 miles in the wrong direction, but finally I got back on route. Then just after Twickenham I was behind 3 riders raising money for Bowel Cancer wearing orange and white jerseys. After a short while they had left me as I was slowing down for the hills, then I thought I had caught up with them and after about 4 miles or so, I discovered they weren’t the same 3, as these guys were riding for Sainsburys’. So again I had to turn around and go back.

The first water stop was marked at being 23 miles from the start and it was 27 miles from the start. I got there, had a break and set off again with Gareth, Fiona’s brother. He was also on a hybrid and we had on gone about half a mile and I had a muscles seizure, so returned to the water stop to try and catch the doctor but I missed him, so he advised the organizers to ferry me to the next water stop where he could see to me. He never got there, so I pushed on to the finish line, roughly 15-16 miles away. I had reunited myself with Phil and his friend, eventually crossing the finish line at 4.10pm. I then left so I could cycle home to Peckham. It was a beautiful day and what a challenge, I enjoyed every bit of it except the muscle seizure, but I need to train harder for next year.