"Cycling through London, with no cars, is one of those things you really will never forget"

Posted by / Tuesday 06 June 2017 / Events Fundraising
Mark RideLondon

Mark's an old timer but this is Ryan's first ever RideLondon. Read their advice for making the most of this year's race.

First things first make sure your equipment is just right.

Mark's cycled RideLondon with us twice before so we asked him for some words of wisdom on what he wish he had known before getting started!

Seat Height: When you sit on your seat you should only be on tip toes – this means that your leg can fully extend and you get the maximum effort out of the energy you put in.

Clothes: A must is cycling shorts – the padding makes the ride softer – even if it may feel like a nappy.

Cleats: You need the right pedals and shoes – but this means that as you bring your legs up you are still pulling the pedal, which means you have more energy going into each rotation – which means you go further. A word of caution, if you have not used them before you need to practice when stopping and when you are getting going.

Liquids: Always carry enough drinks when training or be able to be able to stop to buy.


Gels: Gels with caffeine are excellent energy boosters, so when you start riding longer distances these help keeping your body fuel.

Equipment: As time passed I've learnt I only need to carry a spare inner tube, micro pump, multi-tool and tyre lever. This all fits nicely into a small saddle bag. I have a Garmin Edge that tells me how fast or slow I am going and keeps a record of each trip. I always have a rear light on for all trips out and you must always wear a helmet.

Changing your inner tube: You never know when you will end up with a flat. I went a year before my first and then had one over the following three weekends! If you have not changed one I would suggest to practice at home, just so it's familiar.

"The aim is to cycle 100 miles, you know your body, you know your level of fitness, you know or will be getting to know you bike and you should do what is right for you."

Mark - 3rd RideLondon

Ryan is an avid cyclist but this is his first RideLondon with the Action for Children team. We caught up with him to talk about how he's preparing for the 100 mile sportive.

Danny, Steve W, Helen W and Luke 2

1. Try and introduce some element of focus into training - decide what you want to achieve before you get out on the bike. That might be working on cadence, climbing, endurance...

2. Be sure to have at least 1 or 2 rest days a week. This is essential for improvement.

3. On longer training rides be sure to eat and drink - I aim for a bottle of water and an energy bar an hour on rides of two hours and over 

4. Don't let bad weather stop you training. Either buy a turbo trainer or buy a coat!

5. In terms of riding itself, a cadence (rpm) of 90-100 is the most efficient over longer rides. Many people spend most of the time in gears that are too high.

6. If you're spending a lot of time on the bike, get a bike fit (£50-£150). It can seriously improve your comfort and efficiency/performance on the bike

Some final words of encouragement from Mark:

"Do what's right for you. The aim is to cycle 100 miles, you know your body, you know your level of fitness, you know or will be getting to know you bike and you should do what is right for you. Do not worry about anyone overtaking you and zooming up the hill, but you do need to put the miles into your legs build up your strength and stamina. Even if it is little and often."

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