London to Cambridge event

vs4b Posts: 257
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
Hi there,

Anyone done this before? What's it like?

I am just starting out with my roadbike and want a target to work to and like the idea of this as i live in Cambridge. I'm very out of shape and need a goal to work to.

I'd also be interested in knowing how much training / prep do i need for to do the ride and enjoy it. Is it necessary to have done the full distance at some point prior to the day or just have got out and done plenty of miles in general. At the moment my furthest ride for a variety of reasons has only been 15miles so its a pretty big step up.

Thoughts / advice welcome!


  • nicksun
    nicksun Posts: 290
    Hi VS4B,
    The L to C is a reasonably easy ride. You wouldn't need to ride 50 or so miles before you do it but once the weather starts to improve I think you'll probably want to anyway. There's an Oxford to Cambridge bike ride that is a little further and a little more challenging that you might wany to have a look at as well.

    Good luck.

  • when is the london to cambridge bike ride? I've don london cambrisge london before so it might be a good one to incorporate into a longer ride?\

  • Not usually until the end of summer
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???
  • vs4b
    vs4b Posts: 257
    So how far should i am to have covered in a single ride before the event?
  • Mad Mat
    Mad Mat Posts: 240
    Check out the Bike Events web site for details of the London to Cambridge on the 27th July at
    It's one of the best charity rides as it's mostly flat and the finish is fast and furious with a beer tent at the end, what more could you ask for..
    London to Paris 13/6/2007 sponsor me at
  • I would have thought that you would want to have covered at least 30 miles before you attempt it. Although I understand that it is one of the easier charity rides.

    I am hoping to enter my self this year, just need to tie up some loose ends first. I'v ebe practising with some 30-35 mile rides on a Sunday Morning. Figuring if I can do 35 miles in the cold and wind, then the full 50 shouldn't come too hard in the summer.
  • overmars
    overmars Posts: 430
    I'll be doing it!
  • _Brun_
    _Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    Just registered meself. :)
  • Thinking about doing it myself, did the London Southend ride on Sunday with a couple of mates and we just dawdled down there so now looking for a second ride where I can push on and set a half decent time. I live in SW London though and the start is pretty much on the opposite side of London so would mean an early start and long journey home.

    Anyone know what the trains back to London are like?
  • Gazzaputt
    Gazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    Does the start of the route follow canal paths?
  • babyshambles
    babyshambles Posts: 149
    I've decided to do this. Done London Southend yesterday and it seems from above that this one should be somewhat easier????

    If this is the case, may consider going there and back but a bit worried i'll get lost ... :oops:

    Early start, bomb it there....and back home by 12-1pm.... rest of the day at home :D
  • Pirahna
    Pirahna Posts: 1,315
    Gazzaputt wrote:
    Does the start of the route follow canal paths?

    It's a long while since I've ridden it, but it from a dim memory it leaves Picketts Lock, turns right on the road between the resevoirs then left through to Waltham Abbey. From there it goes through Nazing, Roydon, Much Hadham and keeps heading North.

    There isn't much in the way of hills and it's a ride anybody who's half way fit could complete. I live on the route in Albury, just north of Much Hadham, and have seen plenty of people dismount at the bottom of the hill without even trying to ride up it. It's around 2 to 3% for half a mile!

    The wet rides are great for people watching. Lots of people in sodden jeans and T shirts with another 25 miles to go. :D
  • Could someone tell me where exactly this ride starts from. I tried to find the starting point last weekend but got quite confused.
    I know it's Pickets Lock, but is it actually on the canal path?? And if so, how on earth will there be space for everyone. I remember last year it was in a massive field in Waltham Abbey.
  • Pirahna
    Pirahna Posts: 1,315
    It used to start from the leisure centre in Meridan Way so I assume that's where it will start from this year.
  • can anyone tell me if i can hire a bike at this event plz
  • overmars
    overmars Posts: 430
    can anyone tell me if i can hire a bike at this event plz

    No you can't.

    Taking the train from Liverpool st to Ponders End (hope that's the right place?)

    It looks like it's going to be one of the hottest days of the year!
  • hambones
    hambones Posts: 407
    Was indeed very hot - and the way I'm feeling right now I regret the decision to ride back!!! I guess as the hours pass I will reflect favourably on completing my longest ever ride (118 miles beating my previous by 43 miles). I'm glad I started at 7.30 because it wasn't too hot nor too crowded. Absolutely delighted with my time of 2hrs 50mins. (3 hours 11mins to get back).

    Coming back I saw some real suffering and some great determination from a wide range of riders. Well done everyone. :)
    Still breathing.....
  • _Brun_
    _Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    Great effort Hambones, I'm impressed!

    I intended to do the return leg (after managing Southend and back last weekend), but bottled it for two reasons. First obviously being the potential heat in the afternoon, and secondly because it was actually a bit further than advertised. By my reckoning I was looking at close to 130 miles for the round trip which I decided was a bit excessive. I'm sure I'd have managed it, but was reasonably confident that it wouldn't have been much fun, so chickened out and got the train. Still had 10 miles at each end between the start and home, so 75+ for the day ain't too shabby.

    It had crossed my mind that seeing the state of some people 2/3 of the way through, they could be having a pretty bad time if they were still out there mid-afternoon. Hopefully no serious casualties.
  • leehellcat
    leehellcat Posts: 37
    I set off at 8:00 to miss the worst of the heat, but it was still sweltering by 11:25 when I got in. I thought it was hillier than I was hoping for, but that mey be because I live north/west of cambridge, where there are no hills at all !!

    Pretty pleased all in all, although I felt sorry for some of the people who were already walking up the first hill about 4 miles in !

    Well done to everyone who completed it, I think the first finishers came in at 10:05, which was a pretty impressive time, even assuming they left at 7:30.
  • overmars
    overmars Posts: 430
    That was slightly longer than the advertised 50 miles! More like just over 55 miles.

    I started 9:36 and had a thoroughly good ride :D... up until the last 10 miles or so when the heat just took its toll and I thought I was cycling uphill.

    Time: 3 hours 21 minutes. Avg speed: 16.4 mph

    Total riding for the day was 75.15 miles.

    I may be mistaken, but going by my late entry and rider number,I thought more people were doing this ride than the London 2 Southend.

    Hope everyone had a great ride! 8)
  • I did London to Southend last week (my first organised ride) in 3hrs 36 mins and really enjopyed it. That prompted me to enter yesterday's ride, having been led to believe it was shorter and easier.

    Imagine my surprise when I found it longer than advertised and a little bit hiller (well, rolling) than last week!

    I came in at 3hrs 55 mins having left at 8.20 and hated cycling. This went away while I was having lunch on the route watching alll those yet to finish and still haven't pulled out of the Southern Sportive in September.
  • hambones
    hambones Posts: 407
    The first in was 10.18 unless the marshalls got it wrong. I had been with the 2 guys until the last 'climb' where they dropped me and I was told I was 3rd. Not that it matters but I am chuffed to pieces with my efforts!!! :D
    Still breathing.....
  • stevec205gti
    stevec205gti Posts: 366
    The group of four I was in did it in 3h20, and we got in at 12.30. Glad we made it in when we did as the heat really started to hit us as we reached cambridge. We managed to get a bbq going under the shelter of one of the trees in the common - I don't envy those people that were riding after then as it was just too hot, especially with no refreshments stops from about 12 miles to go (which I thought was a bit odd after they forced you through one almost straight away!)

    A great day out though and really enjoyed myself - hope I can do it again next year
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???