A team of 4 CUWBC members sucesfully completed the Prudential “Ride London 100” last weekend to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Team Member Fiona Macklin reports on their day:
“The British summer weather was unusually promising up until last week.. And of course last weekend had to see the worst of the rain! The heavens opened on the Saturday night, not boding too well for our ride on Sunday. The four of us were up at the crack of dawn, coming from the four corners of London, to meet at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ready to ride the 100 miles Prudential Ride in aid of Cancer Research UK. The rain miraculously stopped as soon as we reached the Park – so things were already looking up
Weighed down with food, but high in spirits, we giggled at the unknown of what this race was going to feel like. Being used to knowing exactly how to approach our rowing races, we were tackling this new challenge as one totally out of our comfort zone – but we knew at least to attack it with a smile. The lack of other women in the early start waves made us proud to be there and representing both CUWBC and CRUK.
The DJ sent us of with Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’ (if only it were only 8 miles…!) blasting through the speakers. Off we went! The sense of freedom was quite overwhelming as we buzzed through the streets of London with no cars honking at us or traffic lights stopping us. We started our peloton at a perfect pace, grinning one behind another. We couldn’t resist stopping outside MaxMara for some window-shopping (pretending we had a puncture…), helped by some locals to get back on the road in no time.
Passing over Chiswick Bridge sent some shivers down us, glancing down on the finish post to our left. It felt appropriate to be cycling at full speed, and even having all ‘graduated’ from CUWBC, it bought back amazing memories of Boat Races. The whole route was dotted with encouraging supporters and great food & drink hubs.
The hills hit around half way, and the first climb got our thighs burning – that feeling we learn to relish training at CUWBC! The second climb, Leith Hill, was certainly lethal (credit to Zara), and saw another inner tube go. The descent afterwards certainly made the pain worth it though. And so the ride continued with rolling hills under the sun and a gentle breeze. We stocked up again at the 75mile hub, with some welcome drinks and Graze box snacks. It was a mistake to realise there was still a quarter of the ride to go though, so we had to settle into a mind over body game of convincing ourselves there was no pain.
Whizzing down Putney Hill brought back vivid memories of Boat Race week, and crossing Putney Bridge suddenly made the finish line seem very close! But who knew Embankment went on for so long… The Mall made for a fantastic finish, with crowds clapping and music pushing us through the last kilometer.
We were thrilled to finish, and proud to be wearing the CRUK kit. Every mile that hurt was made easier by the thought we were helping beat cancer sooner. Thanks CRUK for helping us feel that!”
You can still help the CUWBC team raise money for Cancer Research UK by clicking here.