This weekend would usually bear great anticipation for cycling enthusiasts country-wide – it was to mark the eighth edition of Prudential RideLondon. It’s a massive cycling festival and a celebration of all things bike. It’s that time where, once a year, we all give a big push to get people to trade up four wheels for two – save the planet, save some cash, get fit. It’s a great all-round trade! The weekend would feature tens of thousands of participants, with four mass-participation events, including the Prudential London-Surrey ride, from outside the Olympic park in central London, down to the Surrey Hills and back up again, suitable for enthusiasts and pros alike. Along with that, many other festivities, including two professional races: the “UCI WorldTour Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic” and “Prudential RideLondon Classique.” There is also the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show at ExCeL London and the Brompton World Championship Final. It’s a busy weekend and one that cycling lovers look forward to every year.
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 this year, it is, of course, cancelled. No fun allowed. Hey, looking on the bright side, at least my road won’t be blocked off all weekend (realistically speaking though, I think the pain of this trade far outweighs the pleasure). There is, however, an alternative initiative put in place in the absence of the real thing. It’s called “My Prudential RideLondon” and it aims to engage cyclists of all ages and experiences, whether you’ve been riding for sixty years or if you’ve never even sat in the saddle before. Despite the lack of a physical location, it aims to broaden horizons and get people on their bike.
The “event” will feature four plan-it-yourself rides: My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 19, 46 and 100 (each number referring to the mileage of the journey). There is also the “My Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle”, where the challenge is set by you (any distance over 1 kilometre). These rides can be done any time during the weekend period, and anywhere in the world, encouraging a far wider pool of potential cyclists to get involved and get moving! There’s an app where you can log your progress and share how you’re getting on, and the tagline of this new event is “Save the UK’s Charities!” The Prudential RideLondon event is a huge donation magnet for British charities every year and, in the midst of this pandemic, they need them now, more than ever. If you would like to get involved, visit www.myridelondon.co.uk to register.
The Prudential RideLondon was something of a legacy event, leftover after the 2012 Olympic Games, and has gone on to become a hugely successful charitable endeavour, getting people exercising, getting them out of the house, staying fit and taking pressure off the environment. In the first seven years, over a hundred thousand people have gotten involved, many of them first-time riders, and the events, collectively, have raised over 77 million pounds for charitable causes. It’s something of a testament to the spirit of this country that not even a pandemic will stop that progress. Take part if you can!