Entry 156 – ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France

Yesterday I took part in the Human Race cycling sportive L’Etape London.  I was due to take part in this ride last year and due to injury I was unable to do so.  I had hurt my wrist by falling off my turbo.  Yes you read that right I basically fell off a static bike and whacked my wrist against a wall in the process.  Impressive right? Not really I know!

So this year I was signed up and ready to do the long route.  I’ve only been doing shorter rides since I had an accident on my bike in August leaving me unconscious and I am still pretty nervous so when I woke up and saw that it was torrential rain outside I started to panic and worry I would come off again.  I had seen some other people I knew signed up on social media saying because of the weather they were giving it a miss.  I was literally sitting at home in my dressing gown ready to get back in bed when a friend of mine who was doing the shorter route asked me to cycle with her and another friend and as the rain had cleared my husband quickly drove us to the start just in time to join the ride.

I would like to be able to say there was no rain but we got wet from the beginning and then as the rain stopped we promptly cooked like boil in the bag chickens in our waterproof jackets.  However, then the skies cleared and I was so pleased I had gone after all.

I have had so many people ride with my and help me as I got into cycling and my friend Becky is relatively new to cycling so myself and Steve were more than happy to ride this for her.  I will tell you something about Becky – she bought a bike last year and signed up to do the Prudential Ride London 100 mile ride and with relatively little training in comparison with most who participate in such a distance she completed it and went back again this year.  She is someone with such determination and says she may not be quick but she is happy to get on her bike and put in the miles and that she did yesterday, smiling all the way.

We rode the 50 mile route and we laughed and chatted and had fun and that is what its all about – fun with friends on our bikes.

Steve was unsure as to why his banana didn’t taste nice – could it be because it was green?  Clue is in the colour!

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The ride starts and finishes at the Velopark in the Olympic Park and as you cycle on the open roads the route takes in some of Stage Three of the 2014 Tour de France.  As you near the finish line you complete a 1k lap of the Velopark.  It was such a good feeling to go through the finish line with two lovely friends and take our well earned medals and have a photo on the podium.

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Chris Froome was also at the event and took part in the long route.  I was keen to catch a glimpse of the man I had spent hours watching through various Tour de France’s on TV and as I saw a very unassuming man in jeans and a shirt be asked to sign a piece of paper I realised it was the man himself and so with my cleats on I ran over before he was surrounded by many people.  Anyone who knows me knows I can chat for England and so I was not embarrassed to thrust my phone in front of me and him for a photo and I asked if I could be one of the many weirdos who asks to take his photo.  He laughed and chuckled at my reference to weirdos before I took a quick photo and thanked him profusely.

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He did also then look at my like one of the weirdos I referred to when I asked to take the pic ha ha.

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I’ve never been disappointed with a Human Race event and this was no exception – so well organised and will ensure I return next year for sure!  I especially liked the little signs in the toilets!

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My race entry was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

 

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