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Inaugural Ride Around London Proves a Success

by Holly Blades

  • Ride Around London - 25/09/2011 - London (Passes through Surey, Berkshire and Hertfordshire)
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Access Sport's inaugural Ride Around London (RAL) was held last Sunday 25th September as the charity's Ambassador Bradley Wiggins helped bring home only the second ever British World Road Race Champion, Mark Cavendish in Copenhagen. 

A total of 895 cyclists signed up to the challenging 115 mile and 60 mile rides that departed from the newly resurfaced Herne Hill Velodrome and the stunning Alexandra Gardens in Windsor. The sun shone and the skies were clear for what was to be an excellent day's cycling for all in aid of Access Sport. 

Excited rider crossing the finish line 

Ride Around London is an annual event organised by the Access Sport and Andy Cook Cycling to help raise money to transform the lives of young people through sport. Access Sport is working to provide a tangible legacy in the Olympic host boroughs of East London and in Bristol, communities where childhood obesity and poverty remain the highest in the country. Funds raised from Ride Around London will help work towards developing 75 community sports clubs by 2013, 50 in London and 25 in Bristol which include 5 new BMX tracks and clubs. 

The first riders crossed the line at the Festival of cycling at noon and were greeted with applause from the crowd, goody bag, a medal and hot pasta. ElliptiGO riders and various mountain bikers took on the challenge alongside the roadies over the 115 mile route. The festival of cycling at the end point in Lee Valley Park offered opportunities for people to watch the BMX displays and have-a-go at various types of cycling including BMX and mountain biking. 

Ibai Makaya riding ElliptiGO up Box Hill on 115 mile route 

Former British Champion Maurice Burton and his family joined in the fun. His son Germaine, an U16 National Youth Circuit Champion was the first back from Windsor, and his daughter Grace rode with her father on a tandem. Maurice was full of praise: 

"An excellent family day out for which the route was well chosen, signed posted and supported. Access Sport's event management team, Andy Cook and all the volunteers did a fantastic job. We will be definitely putting this in the calendar for years to come. I really hope Access Sport raise the much needed funds that go towards such worthwhile causes!" 

Germain, Maurice and Grace Burton finishing at Ride Around London's Festival of Cycling 

Plenty of positive feedback has been received from riders including: 

Justin, Cycling Club Hackney: "Really like the change in feel of the RAL as you make your way round -Croydon, to Egham, Windsor Royal Palace, Chalfont hills, North of Watford and then footballers wives into Cuffley -it was all going on." 

Ian, 115 mile route rider: "Please thank those involved in organising yesterday. Great route plus good feeding. Made it a good day out". 

Mark Hardie, Access Sport CEO, wanted to thank people for their contributions: 

"On behalf of Access Sport and Andy Cook Cycling we would like to thank our sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles and our partners Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Pickford's and British Cycling for their invaluable support for this year's event. We also want to say a big thank you to our teams of volunteers all around London for their hard work which has helped make Ride Around London 2011 a great success. We are really looking forward to RAL 2012." 

  • Ride Around London - 25/09/2011 - London (Passes through Surey, Berkshire and Hertfordshire)
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1 Comment

6th October 2011 4:28pm RebeccaMalcolm wrote:

Have to say I don't entirely agree with all of the comments on this ride. Yes, it was a great concept and some of the volunteers were lovely, but there were also several issues:
1. The signage was dreadful - with tiny arrowheads, which meant that you had to slow right down at every corner (and given the route there were a lot) to see if it was left or right. I even got lost on Box Hill (which has never happened to me before on any of the other events I've done) and that was with a Garmin!
2. The lunch station at Windsor was really pretty poor: the only savoury items they had were crisps or biscuits. Apparently, one of the marshalls at the finish mumbled, it was something to do with a lack of fridges, but given that they were in a major town, have no idea why they weren't able to pop to a local supermarket, buy vats of sweetcorn, mayo, tuna and bread rolls and we'd have been sorted. They could have even had the pasta van there. In addition, the Box Hill stop was really strict on the number of drinks you could take as everything was in bottles - bidons would have been much more cost effective and allowed people to have as much as they liked. The 3rd break stop on the other hand was exemplary.
3. The strict 5pm coach departure made it pretty tight
4. The path to the finish was really not what you'd expect of a road bike course (lots of gravel and stones), which given that I'd punctured 7k from the line made me really nervous.
So as I say, good concept, but the organisation could have done with some work