Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

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ChrisAOnABike
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Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby ChrisAOnABike » Thu Feb 07, 2013 16:31 pm

Thought I'd start a thread separate from all the 'in/out' ones, for some questions about the event day itself.

So 20,000+ cyclists will be setting off from the Olympic Park between 6 and 8 am - that sounds like the recipe for mayhem to me.

Apart from all the 'what to take with me' considerations, which hopefully I'll be reasonably up on by the time comes, what should I expect in terms of the start?

Presumably they'll have different marshalling points for the different estimated elapsed times, is it just a case of carefully making my way there and getting out of people's way?

How early should I aim to arrive? I live in Twickenham, so I wonder if I should I stay nearby overnight (which will involve putting the bike somewhere, since I won't want to leave it in the car) or just drive over in the team car (ie with my OH) early in the morning?

Should I do something like the London to Brighton first, to get more of an idea?

All thoughts and experiences gratefully received.
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Gizmo_
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Gizmo_ » Thu Feb 07, 2013 17:12 pm

I've only done one organised sportive - BHF London-Southend. It's not too much mayhem - not like the London Marathon where it takes ten minutes to cross the start line.

But there will be a lot of people there who aren't used to riding in groups like a club run - so don't follow too closely or half-wheel people as they'll swerve around potholes etc with no warning.

I'd strongly suggest entering a ride as a practice (and part of training) - it's not like there's a shortage of options. :)
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Simon-R7
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Simon-R7 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 21:22 pm

I'm doing this as well, not done any organised rides for a long while. Is there parking at the start? as I will be driving from Oxford that morning :roll: How far is it to get from the finish back to the start :?:

Looking forward to it, must enter some sportives to get in practice :shock:

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Omar Little
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Omar Little » Thu Feb 07, 2013 22:54 pm

Hard to compare this with other UK sportives - the Etape Caledonia also has closed roads with the riders going away in waves. It is very well organised...however it is only about 5000 riders and it is in Highland Perthshire not 20000 in a major city.

Generally the earlier your wave the more organised the riding is going to be simply because it is mostly the faster riders off first and generally speaking they will know how to ride in a group, whereas the later waves can be bit more chaotic due to there being more inexperienced riders not used to riding in groups mixed in with those who are used to it.

I'm not sure what the signup process is going to be, with the numbers involved it wont be signing in on the day of the event it will either be done by sending your timing chip and number out by mail or getting you to sign in the days before. You will be allocated a wave / pen to go in and you find that then basically wait for your wave to be given the green light to go.

Stedman
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Stedman » Fri Feb 08, 2013 00:15 am

I have also taken part in the Etape Caledonia over the last four years and although there is only 25% of the London entry, the Etape starts in the narrow high street of Pitlochry, despite the narrow roads and lots of short rolling hills soon after the start, with the staggered pen start, the ride does tend to settle down very quickly. Although London has 4 times the numbers, with wider flat roads, I suspect that this ride will also quickly settle down.

Experienced riders also tend to also start slowly and gradually build up their speed and concentrate on riding and braking smoothly. Although the organisers have placed an emphasis on fitness if you are looking to undertaking this event in less than 6 hours, I would suggest that it is essential to learn how to properly draft and how to ride smoothly in a group.

I suspect that parking near the Olympic Park is going to be an absolute challenge and I have also examined travel via the underground and with an early start this was also very difficult. I was planning to camp in Epping Forest, but in the end I did find some overnight accommodation three miles away with parking.

Get there early and wear an old top that you can discard before the start.

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby thegreatdivide » Fri Feb 08, 2013 09:34 am

20,000 is going to be a nightmare tbh. I'm doing it but put myself down for a fast time so I can get out with the organised riders and not have to deal with folk dressed as a deep sea divers and post boxes riding fixies and tandems - there will def be a fun run element involved in this event.

It’s going to be pretty flat – unless you come from Norfolk then it’s Alpine ;-) – so I’m hoping to get into a fast bunch and just go for it.

Pray for a nice dry day...
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Stedman
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Stedman » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:56 am

thegreatdivide wrote:20,000 is going to be a nightmare tbh. I'm doing it but put myself down for a fast time so I can get out with the organised riders and not have to deal with folk dressed as a deep sea divers and post boxes riding fixies and tandems - there will def be a fun run element involved in this event.

It’s going to be pretty flat – unless you come from Norfolk then it’s Alpine ;-) – so I’m hoping to get into a fast bunch and just go for it.

Pray for a nice dry day...


I shall be looking out for a bunch of competent, steady riders at a 22 mph pace and a group which is not too large. In my experience on large closed road events, club kit and hand signals are a fair initial indication about someone’s competence within group riding.

TakeTurns
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby TakeTurns » Sat Feb 09, 2013 16:30 pm

I've done a sportive with about 3,000 before, it wasn't closed off streets, however, you'd think they were with the amount of riders on them.

Feeding stations were a nightmare. Queues were well over half an hour waiting time. Will be interesting to see how they manage to cater 20,000 people.

Would be ideal to get there early if you don't want to be caught up behind loads of people.

Not sure whether the stations will charge(most likely not), however, I'd make sure to take some of your own food.

sherer
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby sherer » Sat Feb 09, 2013 18:05 pm

lets hope we are worrying over nothing. With a 06:00 start it's tough it's going to be a very early and long day for some. Hope they sort out proper parking or at the least run a park and ride system so you can drive there with bike and then get run into the event.

Entered via a charity so no idea what start time I will get.

Lets hope it's a great day out and once you are off and running the rest of it is soon forgotton

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markos1963
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby markos1963 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 22:17 pm

thegreatdivide wrote:20,000 is going to be a nightmare tbh. I'm doing it but put myself down for a fast time so I can get out with the organised riders and not have to deal with folk dressed as a deep sea divers and post boxes riding fixies and tandems - there will def be a fun run element involved in this event.

It’s going to be pretty flat – unless you come from Norfolk then it’s Alpine ;-) – so I’m hoping to get into a fast bunch and just go for it.

Pray for a nice dry day...


Ever ridden in Norfolk? I did a reliability ride last sunday with nearly 4000ft of climbing in 62miles, not Alpine or the Lake District I know but not too bad around here.

Tom Butcher
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Tom Butcher » Sun Feb 10, 2013 17:17 pm

Seems an awful lot for Norfolk - whereabouts ?

I think the feed stations will be OK - the Marmotte has about 6-7k riders I think and those feed stations are fine - so long as it is well organised I wouldn't expect to queue for more than 20-30 seconds.

If there are problems they will come from people who don't have experience of riding in groups finding they are out of their depth. On a sportive I used to treat people as I would on a chaingang - but I've heard people complain about riders who pass them "too close" and thought actually my perception of normal group riding probably differs from their's. I wouldn't want to be in a group with people who are worried about someone passing them too close - add in a liberal sprinkling of people who will treat this like a race without actually having ever raced and expect to see quite a few people on the tarmac.
Last edited by Tom Butcher on Sun Feb 10, 2013 20:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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markos1963
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby markos1963 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 18:27 pm

Tom Butcher wrote:Seems an awful lot for Norfolk - whereabouts ?


From Weyborne to Docking and back climbing up the N Norfolk ridge about ten times!

Gizmo_
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Gizmo_ » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:29 am

I hear the tea hut at the top of Box Hill does a fine carrot cake. I'll stop there. ;)

Seriously though - well organised or not, how on earth do you get 20,000 riders fed and watered efficiently? A feed station a mile long?
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junglist_matty
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby junglist_matty » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:43 am

London to Brighton is about 20,000 riders, I did it in 2008, never ever again.

Unless you get there at about 4am (we had a 6.30am start time), there's literally no point unless you're there for a social and a laugh with mates (even then, I can't imagine it being much fun).


The first 20miles were very very very slow, and the first "hill" is a bottleneck, you couldn't ride up because of the sheer number of people.... The first unfit few to get off and walk meant everyone behind had to do the same as there was no space to do anything else.... On the first hill I spent nearly 10minutes stood still at one point and didn't move an inch.

I can't imagine the London 100 is going to be any better... Unless it's one of the smaller charity rides I'm not interested.....

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Gizmo_
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby Gizmo_ » Mon Feb 18, 2013 23:20 pm

Sounds rubbish.

It's a good 80km until the first hill worth the description though...
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TakeTurns
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Re: Ride London 100 - first big sportive, what to expect?

Postby TakeTurns » Mon Feb 18, 2013 23:47 pm

Since they took all those details from us about our riding experience etc, I'd assume they'd let us out in an orderly fashion where the strongest would go first and so on


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