Ride 100 – Charlotte Holdsworth

July 2016

A friend of RxSport is taking part in the Ride 100 event at the end of July and she has kindly written us a blog post about her training for the 2016 event and about her previous experience doing the ride in 2014!


The Ride 100 is on the 31st July 2016 and this will be my second time in taking part in the cycling event. I participated in the event in 2014 when torrential rain somewhat disrupted the event and riders were not permitted to do Box Hill or Leith Hill due to safety precautions. There were other parts of the race where we were instructed to get off our bikes and walk due to excess water on the road.

All in all, it wasn’t quite the “sportive” I was hoping for and while I was proud to finish, I wasn’t that pleased with my time. So I was very happy to be successful in the 2016 ballot and the training for the race in July has started in earnest.

I go to regular spinning classes during the week and I also cycle the 6 miles to work and back every day during the week but I know the best training is to get out to the hills for real and just go for it.

We didn’t want to push ourselves too hard on our first training ride of the summer but the beautiful thing about cycling is you can take breaks in between, so we knew we had the whole day to complete our 60 miles out to Box Hill and back home.

We started out at 9:00 am meeting in Richmond Park, along with hundreds of other cyclists who had had the exact same idea as us. Setting off out of the park through Kingston and Hampton, the sun was already beating down but the breeze was welcome. We started to get into a proper rhythm heading out to Esher and the pretty route out to Cobham. Unfortunately this is also the start of the “warm up” hills and with the temperature heating up by the time we got to Downside and the M25 crossing the legs were starting to burn!

We were also amazed by the number of cyclists heading back into London – they must have started out at 6:00 am to have done a few laps of the hills and already be heading home.

During my spinning classes and some helpful tips from my keen-cyclist husband, I have been trying to improve my technique while out riding. Our first very big hill came in Ranmore Common and while it was tough, I kept my breathing steady, core engaged and shoulders relaxed while pumping the legs to get up the hill. With not much time to recover Box Hill was less than a mile away and soon we were staring up to the top of the hill and taking some deep breaths. I love Box Hill – the steady and long incline is probably the closest thing Surrey has to the European mountains and it is such a good feeling when you get to the top. The view isn’t bad either!

We had an obligatory stop at the top with ice cream and flapjacks and a short sunbathe before heading down for a little loop around Westhumble and then back the way we came into London. I find riding with a friend so much more fun than going out alone but not as intimidating as some of the London cycle clubs!

Our final stop was in the Giro café on Esher High Street. A special café designed for cyclists, with plenty of space to store bikes, live cycling races on the telly, seats outside in the sunshine and array of cold drinks on offer and tasty snacks and lunch bites. We grabbed a table outside and enjoyed a well deserved rest with some iced smoothies before our final push into London.

The final push to London was fast and flat and we agreed to push as fast as we could to Richmond Park; I find pushing hard on tired legs is the best way to see results on the next ride and to really polish yourself off. My legs were screaming as I dismounted finally back at home in Fulham with 60 miles under the belt and the first training ride done for the summer. I’m already looking forward to the next one and trying to push down my time, fingers crossed this lovely weather continues!

Thanks Charlotte from all here @RxSport!

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