PRU Ride London – Again

Pru Ride London 2016 FinishThe PRU Ride London probably falls into the ‘iconic’ category. A visiting cyclist to London & Surrey would definitely love the ride and all it takes in. If you only do Sunday group/club rides then the Ride London, for many, will be a step up in excitement as you cycle closely to several tens of people for long distances. And for those of you who have never ridden in groups (be careful!) and also be amazed by the free speed you get from being close to others. Yep, just like on the Tour de France.

Putting aside the lottery of getting in to the event, it is very well organised and marshalled. There have been very serious accidents in previous years but this year hopefully everyone will be fine. I saw one tumble but that’s it.

Much less seriously I saw vast numbers of punctures. Must have been not far off 50 people…very strange.

The route is entirely on closed roads. The surface is generally just about Ok. Riding 100 miles is challenging for most people, for others it is a race and a chance to beat previous efforts or fellow riders. Other than the distance it’s not an especially hard ride. There are 3 or 4 hills totalling an elevation gain of over 1000m but even the fabled Box Hill is not so hard, especially with it’s PERFECT surface. That surface must knock a %age point or so off the 7% gradient in terms of effort relative to the other hills.

I was riding fairly quickly and have seen all the sights before. Perhaps if you were also riding fast, you would probably mostly get a view of someone from Kingston Wheelers lycra-clad rear end more than you would do of Hampton court Palace or some of the beautiful Surrey vistas.

I always enjoy the ride. Although I skipped the super-rainy event a couple of years back.

Today was wet at the start but with temperatures eventually getting up to 21 degrees or so it was probably dry for most people. For those of us with an early start it was wet, occasionally mildly muddy and warranted care on much of the outbound part of the course.

I’d not really ridden since Ironman UK a couple of weeks ago and I was on holiday last week. I felt good and at the end of the ride I still felt good. Probably a 90-95% effort I guess. I had expected my Ironman training to work wonders on my time and average power. But I was disappointed in that respect – only mildly though. There was probably some power-duration PB in there for 185 minutes if I looked hard enough but essentially my performance was the same as last year; just not as tiring.

A very different 100 miles to that in an Ironman. Lots of drafting and the aim to empty the tank at the finish line.

My HR zones say 56% of the time was in Z3 and 34% in Z4 (that’ll be the caffeine 😉 ). Power zones were 27% Z3 and 21% Z4. My W; balance was nicely and frequently dipping down to 10kj or so. I was trying. so was my left leg which seemed to be trying much harder than my right leg…hmmm.

Kit: I was supposed to don my Powerpod BLE/ANT+ powermeter but it was raining so I hadn’t calibrated it. Back to the Bepro. The Edge 820 still had problems re-picking up my PM at the start and I lost a KM or so in the logs but it was otherwise good. I had some of the XERT CIQ data fields on show but never really got much benefit from them for this sort of ride. The MAVIC CXR80s were awesome, I might have to write something about those next week after I have put them to the test in a TT. My cycling shoes still stink and I’m going to have to invest in a new pair 😉  THE END.



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