Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

13 August 2014
Stephen and his bike

On 10th August 2014 Stephen Curtis-Powell took park in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 - a modified version of the London 2012 Olympic Road Race route.

Here’s Stephen’s account of the run-up to the ride, and the ride itself, which took place in particularly adverse conditions!

“I’m looking at the news. I see that the Mayor of London, not known for his athletic prowess has cycled 100 miles in the inaugural RideLondon event. I think to myself, I could to that, how hard could it be?

That was August 2013. Today is 11 August 2014, the day after I completed the second Ride London. The 12 months in between have been an interesting time.

Getting a place on the ride through the ballot

I am determined to do the ride in August 2014 and have a cunning plan should my name not be chosen in the ballot: ride for a charity.There was a ballot to try and win a place. Chances of getting a ballot place were about 1 in 5. The ballot was in August 2013 and the results were in January 2014.

I applied and decided to train to build up to this challenge. I do a lot of cycling in order to gain ability, fitness and lose weight. In fact in 12 months I have lost 28lbs / 13kgs. I am determined to do the ride in August 2014 and have a cunning plan should my name not be chosen in the ballot: ride for a charity.

Ballot failed – ride for charity?

This is the first time I have raised funds. I hoped to raise up to £500 at a stretch. In the end the total will be close to £1,000.I don’t get a place in the ballot. I am momentarily crushed. But not for long. I look at the many, many charities. I ask myself these questions:
1. Who could I raise funds for?
2: How much could I raise?
3. Do I want to be a fundraiser?

I spend days and days considering these and my answers.

Question one becomes clear straightaway. My family is being, for want of a better expression, ‘touched’ by cancer at the moment. With this in mind I look at my children and this leads my thoughts to Children with Cancer UK. It seems the work they fund can make a real difference.

The answers to 2 and 3 then follow; Q2 – not sure, do my best and Q3 – well I’ll give it a go.

To my delight Children with Cancer UK do not want me to sign a contract to make up the difference should I fall short of my estimated target. It seems they are trusting, and rightly so. This only increases my desire to raise more funds.

This is the first time I have raised funds. I hoped to raise up to £500 at a stretch. In the end the total will be close to £1,000.

It was a privilege to be part of this event.

Stephen with his bikeI was able to ride through central London with no cars and through leafy Surrey with no cars.

The finale was along the Embankment, past the Houses of Parliament, past the Cenotaph, through Trafalgar Square, under Admiralty Arch then onto The Mall to finish in front of Buckingham Palace.

Along the route charity supporters and, hearteningly, local residents cheer on strangers on bicycles. This is wonderful to experience and restores your faith in humanity should it have ever taken a knock.

“You must be mad, you are all mad, but keep going you are doing great!”, a mature lady shouted this as I cycled past, possibly through Dorking. I smiled outwardly and inwardly. Her comments were true. There is nowhere to hide in torrential rain. It was nice though. She was standing in the wet, by the road, encouraging strangers on. Had the weather been sunshine I am sure the supporters on route would have been multiplied in number.

The adverse weather was a challenge

For many the adverse weather and the route changes were a negative, but that is a distraction really. I had trained for the hills but even without them included the weather was a great challenge to be endured and overcome.
It alternated between rain and torrential rain. Sometimes it rained even harder! 
For my ride of 4 hours 17 minutes it started off dry for 10 minutes then the rest was measured in how heavy the rain was. It alternated between rain and torrential rain. Sometimes it rained even harder!

I even decided, maybe foolishly, to not wear my waterproof jacket as I wanted my Children with Cancer UK cycling jersey to be on display in any photographs. That is how much I came to care about the cause I was raising funds for and helping to promote. I hope there are some good photos of me on course in the jersey for use as publicity, showing grit and determination in adversity!

I would do it again!

Despite the rain this was a wonderful event, brilliantly organised and I would heartily recommend it to anyone. I want to do it again, but not in 2015 as I will be on a sunny island in the Mediterranean. Maybe in 2016. By then my clothes should be dry..."

Stephen Curtis-Powell, August 2014

Visit Stephen's fundraising page

Thanks Stephen for all your efforts and support!

Join our team

If you would like to join our Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 team for 2015, we'd love to hear from you!

The ballot for next year will open on Monday 18th August 2014. The cycle takes place on Sunday 2nd August 2015. 

If you would like to be part of our team in 2015, please enter the ballot and fill in our application form on our Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 page.

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