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Ride 100 on a Tandem

30 July 2017

You know what I said about doing two big events back to back? Well that wasn't enough, obviously! Dermot and I were planning on cycling the Ride 100 on our tandem, just 1 month after the Maratona. We first rode it in 2013 (the first Ride100) - it's a 100-mile closed road sportive that starts at the Olympic Stadium, goes through Surrey up Box Hill and Leith Hill before finishing at the Mall.

The great thing about this ride is that it's on closed roads. This means you can ride much faster that you would normally, because you don't have too worry about traffic, and there are thousands of cyclists riding so it's quite easy to join a group of riders and get a tow. The crowds line the streets and cheer you on. I hadn't ridden more than 50 miles when I did it the first time, and although my legs were good for the 100 miles, my back, neck and shoulders were killing me as I wasn't used to being in that position for so long. I also didn't have the balance to eat and drink on the bike so had to stop a lot to refuel.

This time would be different. I'd be on our tandem with Dermot. We'd be faster together than I was separately, and could keep each other going when the going got tough - which it would, invariably on the hills. A tandem weighs about 2.5-3 bikes, so you have more weight to carry up the hills, but you also fly down them, praying there's nothing in your way at the bottom.

The morning of the ride

It's always an early start, which I HATE, and we had a gentle pedal to the start wearing our surgical prep gowns for warmth, over our Maratona kit.


The PA was great at getting the us motivated before we were let off in pens. We must have been in the tandem pen as there were about 50 around us, lots bought from the same shop as us (JD Tandems). I'm sure Dermot and I got more cheers from the crowd, and were soon bombing along.

I was definitely playing up, waving my hands in the air as the 100th person yelled at Dermot "She's not pedalling…".


We had a couple of hairy moments when the police stopped us to let pedestrians cross, and I let out more than a few expletives. It is much harder to get going again on a tandem than on a road bike, and we were pushing to break 6 hours.


Our official time was just over 6 hours (I blame my bib shorts which mean a loo stop is much longer as you have to strip off completely and catch your phone as it falls out of your jersey pocket before it lands in a portal)… but our riding time was 5:46 - Very happy with that! Here's the Strava link. And of course I got another medal to add to my collection.
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