Howard Robson's Cycle Ride

Howard Robson cycles for Ocean Stars Trust and raises £800. Well done Howard!

OceanStars :: Wednesday 3rd August 2016 :: This Story

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

Picture: /files/latest-news/227/w288/howard-bike-ride.jpg


Dear all, I just thought as a matter of courtesy I would let all you kind people know how I got on last Sunday, seeing as you have all been so kind and generous in offering help, advice, sponsorship and donations.

I duly arrived at the appointed hour and was in my slot 'E' at the Black start by 7.30 am. This was the easy bit, having been made easier than before by the offer of accommodation the previous night at Tim Allen's flat only a few miles from the Olympic Park. Thanks Tim!  The weather was good, and I didn't need my throwaway sweatshirt that I had packed as a contingency - the only concern was that the day might be too warm! The next hour passed quickly chatting to fellow cyclists around me, and our 'wave' set off at the scheduled time of 8.31 am. Each wave could choose music to set off by, and we left to the strains of 'it can only get better', which was better than last year when we had The Laughing Policeman!

In the commonly used expression by the younger generation, it was truly 'awesome' cycling through the traffic-free streets of London seeing all the famous landmarks, and not having to worry about traffic lights, cars and pedestrians! I quickly arrived in East Sheen, where I met up with my brother Mike and his wife Catherine who gave me moral support before the climb up Sheen Lane into Richmond Park. A slow down in the Park due to a couple of minor pile ups (seems to happen there every year), and then it was a pull into the first 'Hub' near Hampton Court for a quick grab of water and loo-stop.

I was very pleased with my progress, and my average speed was about 16 mph for the first two hours, meaning that I should be on target for a finishing time of about 7 hours, bearing in mind I still had the Surrey hills to do. Unfortunately that all unravelled at about mile 38/39 when we were all held up for about an hour and a half due to a 'serious incident'. Being in a sea of stationary cyclists which stretched as far as the eye could see it was difficult to know what was happening, and rumours abounded. We knew it must be something serious as helicopters were buzzing overhead. I now know that a total of 33 cyclists were taken to hospital, with 7 remaining in hospital, 3 seriously injured, following a nasty accident at Pyrford. Also sadly one person died from cardiac arrest.

After that, all thought of getting a 'time' went out of the window, and it was just a case of getting on with it, and wondering how we would get back to London and what contingency plans and diversions would be put into place. A quick stop at the second hub at the top of Newlands Corner and then it was full speed ahead, but not for long because by now most of the 26,000 cyclists had bunched up so badly that we came to a grinding halt at every pinch point. Because of the delays the organisers decided to cut out Leith Hill for most of the riders, myself included. So I got to the finish in The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace at 5.15 pm having ridden 93 miles. A total time of 8 hours 45 mins, which means I did it in about 7 hrs 15 mins by the time you take off the delay. In fact probably much quicker if you take into account all the other delays and pit stops. Also I had covered over 100 miles taking into account the ride to the start and back to Waterloo station at the end. And no punctures!

I was naturally disappointed with my time, but our thoughts and sympathy must go out the friends and families of those who were not so lucky.

On the positive side I have raised over £800 for Ocean Stars, and am looking forward to going out to Sri Lanka in October to see this money being put to good use. I have been told by Just giving that I was in the top 5% of fundraisers in July!

Once again a huge thank you to all of you.