Why did you choose to enter the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100?
Hannah: I’ve been slowly increasing my cycling time from my 30-minute commute to weekends trundling along the Thames towpath with the odd coffee and cake stop thrown in. I entered this event to set myself a challenge. I have to confess that, knowing how popular it is, I wasn’t expecting to get a place - so getting in took me by surprise/shock/horror!
Since then reality has started to hit. 100 miles …. in one day. Starting in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the 100-mile route is on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. So it’s a touch more than I am used to doing. The thought of training for it was a little scary until I realised it was a great excuse to explore a few new places.
Carmel: After cycling from London to Amsterdam last year, I wanted to push myself with bigger challenges. I hadn’t considered the RideLondon until Ali, who I’m riding the Coast to Coast with, suggested that we apply and ride it together. Unfortunately I got a place on it and she didn’t! Now I’m nervously reading about peloton cycling and working up a training plan for both the Coast to Coast and RideLondon. The thing I’m most looking forward to is riding down the Mall, and through the finish line. I’ve never done a mass event before and I think the atmosphere will be incredible.
What Explore trips are you doing this year?
Hannah: I’ll be joining the first day of our London to Paris trip, a 132km jaunt from Battersea Park to Portsmouth. This classic cycle challenge between two iconic capital cities starts in the suburbs but leads into the open countryside and the leafy Surrey Hills, which should warm my legs up nicely for the hills of the South Downs National Park. I imagine I’ll get a cheeky portion of fish and chips to refuel before hopping on the train back to London!
Carmel: We’re both taking on our Coast to Coast trip in July, something I’ve wanted to try for a while but always put off because I’m not overly keen on hills. I’m planning to use the frequent cake and tea stops as motivation when things get tough. The scenery will also help, as we ride through the beautiful Lake District fells and spectacular North Pennine peaks. Bring it on!