Ssssh! It's not a race… Well that's what Prudential RideLondon emails and paraphernalia kept telling us riders from day one, but on Sunday 30th July, I was sure mine and many other's competitive spirits will come out and we'd all be hell for rubber gunning it across the streets of London, hoping to become the first novice over the line.
Yeah right. For me there was a bigger picture here.
Back in 2013 I'd decided to compile a small but significant list of things i would like to achieve in the next 5 years. I kept this to myself for a few years and slowly realised that I was chipping away at the list. It started with an amazing engagement proposal to my wife in Central Park and so naturally we married a year later.
Today I'm a father to a wonderful 4 month old girl, Connie, but prior to that, I'd applied for the RideLondon event in the likelihood I could tick off another of my goals. Sure enough I got a place and as long as I stayed fit, my 5 year life plan was edging towards completion.
From the start at Olympic park in Stratford to the finish line along the famous pink tarmac of the mall in west London, crowds were out in their numbers. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun, apart from the poor sod who stacked it on the first bend out of the Park.
That aside, the organisers carried out an amazing job all round and the decision to close the roads really did make it a rather quick 46 mile route - helped by the good weather that the later starters certainly benefited from.
I'm embarrassed to say I only managed one 30 miler in training and a couple of short last minute workouts on the watt bike in the gym so my expectations of a top time were low. Still, I had become a dad recently so my priorties lie somewhat elsewhere.
However I was more than happy with my unofficial time of 2hrs 19 secs which I believe was largely down to smart food/drink intake, which if anything, made me stronger over the final 6 miles of the course. Sadly, not everybody finishes the ride. I'd like to send my condolences to the family of Maris Ozol, of whom sadly lost his life during the event. My donation is the very least I could do.
I'll definitely be applying again next year when the ballot opens on 7th august but for now my attention turns to running, with my sights on the final topic on my list, a 3rd Marathon.
I'll probably apply for London again but after completing the Berlin and Barcelona courses, I may have to travel beyond London to guarantee a place before my 5 year plan expires.