Prudential Ride London; a bit of a messy ballot

My posts are like busses; none for ages and then two come at once.

Now here’s the thing. This morning I saw this post on Facebook:

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I was really excited, it surely cannot be any worse than last year and to do it in the sunshine and to do the whole course would be fantastic. Just 4 or 5 days to find out.

There seemed to be quite a few comments so I started browsing through them, and quite a few people had been able to access their result already. I clicked on a link, which had kindly been provided by one of the commenters. The link took me to an official page, the one I used to sign up with, which has my name, number, postal address and e-mail address listed. When I clicked on the receipt option I was able to see at the top in yellow that my application was cancelled on 28 January. Disappointment.

It is however, interesting, and slightly puzzling to read through the comments on the Ride London Facebook page; for an event which is into it's third year you would have thought that they would have learnt some lessons. But they don't seem to have done.

Although this link has been posted several times, and at the time of writing just over 80 people have commented that they have received their result in this manner (I am sure many more people, such as my brother and I, have also found out but have not commented), Prudential Ride London are claiming that the link did not come from them.

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The chap commenting has an extremely good point; the link is legit. The contractors which Ride London have sub contracted the application process to have allowed the ballot information to be visible on public profiles. Whilst this information hasn’t in the literal sense of the word come from Ride London, it is almost certainly the accurate information. I suspect that their ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ magazines have go out due to advertising deals, but that doesn’t really explain why, for consecutive years they’ve made the same mistake, or indeed why they are denying it even exists!

Just Ollie to find out if he got allocated a place now, and he will have to wait for the magazine, as he has forgotten his password! If not we have several hotel rooms in London up for grabs! If he does get a place…

Well I guess he’s very lucky.

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A steep and eggy learning curve

Each evening recently Ollie opens up WordPress and tuts with disappointment. So here’s a post, from lectures! The lecturer is struggling to work the IT, which is a little worrying for an Information capability course, so we have an extra 20 minute break. I can’t really be bothered to leave the room anyway, so I may as well spend the time productively.

So, what’s been going on?

I have discovered that the winter is incredibly frustrating! If it isn’t for rain, wind and the threat of snow then there’s the ice. The day can look lovely, with the sun out and no wind but the temperature won’t have risen high enough to melt the ice. Just in case anyone was wondering darkness and ice aren’t a good mix, particularly when you’ve not eaten enough carrots and can not see in the dark. Despite the frustrations, I have managed a decent amount of miles so far, though the interval training is suffering from my aversion to my turbo trainer.

Talking of discoveries, I found this eggcellent breakfast idea on several blogs recently:

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And I have further developed them into little cheese omelettes. Really quick and easy to make and they provide you with a week of breakfasts.

That’s not to say that the first few attempts were without problems! It was a bit of a learning curve to begin with; the oil must be the spray version – a pool of oil in the bottom does not combat against extreme egg sticking on the sides and much scrubbing to return the tin to a reasonable state. Furthermore, some eggs are volatile; 35 seconds into being microwaved it is possible that they will explode and coat the microwave in eggy goo. This is not what anyone wants at 0700 in the morning!

We’ve also been planning! A trip to the bike show, a bike purchase, a weekend in Yorkshire and a two week trip to the Alps and the TdF.

The bike show, in London during the (long) weekend of 12-15 February will be the serious start point of my carbon bike procurement process! A process which needs to be complete by our long weekend of hill climbing in Yorkshire and the Peak District. The bike show also combines with the Triathlon show, which will be of interest to Ollie as he is about to begin training for triathlons (crazy if you ask me). The weekend t’up North is preparation for the big European trip, to try and get me used to camping!

During the weekend, just gone, Chris, Ollie and I held a holiday summit, which was rather more successful than any of us imagined it would be. We now have a plan for all but the last two days, and as an added bonus we should see the TdF on three consecutive days. Even better is that out of the 8 nights accommodation that we have booked, seven of them are in hotels. 😊

Next post soon, with a selection of possible bikes and their plus and minus points.

Laura

Tandem-ing is not a winter sport!

Today I learnt that:

1. Tandeming is not a winter sport. I can’t put my finger on why, but Ollie agrees. The tandem has gone into hibernation.

2. £3 saddles are priced as such for a reason. (A few months ago we popped into the expensive bike shop in town for a look, and came across their bargain box where we found three £60 saddles for £3 each, which of course we had to buy. Two for the tandem, and one for Ollie’s carbon bike).

3. Log fires in yurts are amazing.

4. Returning to the cold and having to cycle another 40 miles is not amazing.

5. I need lenses in my cycling glasses that will change themselves according to the light. It was bright this morning, I needed the tint, but by this evening I had to take them off and get rain in my eyes because I could no longer see anything.

We planned and rode a three part ride today; 35 miles solo followed by 20 tandem miles and finished off with another 20 solo miles. The weather was cold but dry and bright this morning, quite breezy but nothing like the gales of the past few days. We cycled to Ollie’s house, the long way, and dropped off our solo bikes so that we could go to lunch in the tandem. A couple of extra pairs of socks were also added! Matching, should have been expensive saddles were being trialled.

Needless to say mine will be going on to E-Bay.

After a great lunch at Jolly Nice, which is not far from Minchinhampton, we went back to Ollie’s house to reunite ourselves with our road bikes (we were happy to see them!)

Despite Ollie’s lodger insisting that we wouldn’t get rained on, we did, but it wasn’t heavy and we have faced a lot worse weather over the past month! The wind was the worst part of the ride home, mainly coming from the side, doing its best to dislodge us from our saddles. And then combined with the dark, it was all rather spooky. All in all a good day out in the saddle though and some good winter miles to add to the Strava counter.

Laura

Back to reality

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I took Christmas Eve until Jan off. I was back to work just for the Friday 2nd Jan and then off again for the weekend. During the time off I managed to ride 323 miles, which is great for December in the UK. Though of course there was some dreadful weather and also Chris, Ollie and I did do a night ride, dictated by when the best weather was.

But all the mileage means that I have been slow to post on here! I am now having a week off because my muscles are getting a bit upset with me, so time to catch up with my blog and my studies.

I was very spoilt over Christmas! As one might expect, there were many cycling goods wrapped up in my parents lounge and Wiggle did very well from us (between Chris, Ollie and I): My brother kindly got me a bike fit book and a goniometer. I opened the goniometer first and had absolutely no idea what it was; it looks like some kind of strange protractor, but the book explained all and I look forward to reading through and improving comfort on the bike. My Grandparents kindly donated to the carbon bike fund, which is looking healthy and is on target to provide me with my new summer bike in April. Mum and Dad bought Ollie and I a bike maintenance manual which again I look forward to reading and learning. And Ollie bought me Bike Snob which I will mention again in another post.

Wiggle weren’t able to provide this hand-made beauty though…

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Thanks to Ollie and his Dad, Roy who designed and made this shelf for me to hang my bike up in my flat. I highly recommend!

But that wasn’t all, Mum and Dad bought Ollie and I a camping mattress each ready for our cycling/camping holiday in Europe. I am not into camping, so although grateful, I did say to them that I couldn’t promise that I would use it before the holiday. As it turns out Ollie seems to think that I need camping practice, so we have booked a weekend in Yorkshire and the Peak District. That should lead to some amusing blog posts. Hills, April showers and camping. 😩😫

Now that reality has kicked back in, I expect I will have to reacquaint myself with the turbo trainer next week and await the drier, lighter evenings. The search for the perfect carbon bike is in full swing, and we have booked a trip to the bike show in London (Feb) as part of the research. Any recommendations and a debate on the merits of disc brakes are welcomed.

Laura

The A-Z of 2014

A – Amazing/August: 2014 has been an amazing year and there was a massive build up to the main event in August.
B – Bicycle/Bertha/Blog: Bicycle speaks for itself. Bertha did her best to ruin the day. This blog has been great fun.
C – Century/Cadence/Caffeine: Completion of a century was the main goal of the year. Cadence was new to me, but made a difference when applied correctly. Caffeine was an amazing find.
D – Devizes/Dame: Devizes is where the 100 was finally completed. Dame cycling introduced me to many opportunities and lovely people throughout the year.
E – Energy: I never seem to have much anymore. 😄
F – Family: Were extremely supportive, and I wouldn’t have completed 100 miles without them.😘
G – Grand-beings: A new term, used to describe Grandparents and their various animals, as a collective.
H – Hurricane Bertha: Arrived at just the wrong time!
I – Italy: A great, cycle heavy holiday to relax after London!
J – Job: 2014 saw me starting a new job.
K – Killer hills: I still haven’t grown to love them. 😓
L – London: Closed roads, a hurricane and amazing crowds.
M -Master’s: It will be worth it. But it steals bike time.
N – Night riding: The Runway Rumble. Great fun and so disorientating in the dark.
O – One Hundred: The focus of the year.
P – Puncture: Way too many of these on 10th August.
Q – QOMs: I’ve actually got a few!!!
S – Sizzler: The Savernake SIzzler, our first big challenge.
T – Time trial/ Tandem/ Triathlon: So much choice! first time trial, first tandem purchase and my first team triathlon event.
U – Umbrella: Even an umbrella wouldn’t have helped on 10th August.
V – Vomit: What I’ve been scared of happening ever since the projectile vomit occurrence.
W – Wiggle: Great online cycling shop, Where all of my money goes. So addictive.
X – Xmas Day Cycling: A new up and coming tradition, which takes advantage of quiet roads and the laziness of other road users.
Y – Yellow Jersey: The only Y word I could think of.
Z – Zzzzzz: All of this cycling is tiring.

Happy New Year! 😃😀