4th August 2013:   RideLondon-Surrey 100 in aid of Epilepsy Action


(Link to Buddy Active here)

Official Result

Name Wilton, Eric (GBR)
Number 2893


Time Total (Netto) 07:24:38
Distance 100 Miles

Race State

Race state Finished
Last Spotted FINISH





EST MILE 24 01:35:49


EST MILE 45 03:13:49


EST MILE 55 04:06:44


EST MILE 82 06:17:51


EST MILE 91 06:58:39


FINISH 07:24:38


VIDEO: Finish

27th July (7 days to go)

This is my final training-blog entry.  A week to go, and I AchillesTendonitisfind myself in the absurd position of being told to rest-up and do no more cycling, or full-on exercise, till The Big Day itself. I would like to be able to tell you that this has come about as an assessment of my state of readiness for the event, but alas no. In an act of stupidity, I chose to include jogging as part of my fitness regime even though I know that my running days are well behind me – back in the last century, to be precise. As a result my old friend Tendinitis quickly re-appeared. Even worse, I didn’t listen to my body and chose to ‘run through’ it. The result: a chronic condition. Yesterday I succumbed to the physio, who prescribed the above recommendation. This notwithstanding, my training has gone well and I am as ready to go as I’m ever likely to be.  I will be on the starting line next Sunday. I resumed full training with Richard upon my return from my motorcycling trip but given yesterday advice, next week we’ll only do swimming, to maintain my cardiovascular fitness and basic core-strengthening. But the Ride100 will be no ‘gimme’.  On Wednesday my training rides ‘peaked’ with an 80 miler, which I completed in an acceptable cycling time of 6 hours 48 mins. However my ‘on-the-road’ time was closer to 7.5 hours, which would have given me just 90 minutes to complete the last 20 miles. It’s going to be a close-run thing!

15th July (20 days to go)

Got back from my motorcycling break, (which was ‘epic’ – more later), to be greeted by the Ride100’s ‘Final Countdown’ rider information pack. I am Rider Number 2893. It’s all very precise and has a tone of extreme order:

Each start has 19 different waves. Below is your recommended time to get to QEOP the loading time of your wave and your actual start time:

     Your arrival time at QEOP: 06:42

     Your personal load time is: 07:06

     Your Personal start time: 07:42

The pack, which is chocker with information, contains a route map and profile:

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 Participants Route Map 2013

And as if the jagged ‘peaks’ of Newlands Corner, Leith Hill & Box Hill are not enough to put one off, the informations tells of the  5 ‘cut-off points with the following words of ‘encouragement’: “If you do not reach the cut off points before the above times you will be withdrawn from the event.”

NOW this is getting rather serious!

6th July (29 days to go)

Spending the next 7 days on motorized 2 wheels. (Details of my trip here.)

A natural pause then. When I return, it will be just 3 weeks till the Ride 100.

Since I officially started my training on May 9th:

– I have cycled about 800 miles

– my longest ride so far has been 65 miles

–  most weeks I have had 2 PT sessions and been on rides on 3 other days

– have not eaten any ‘crap food’ and have consumed, on average, just under 1100 net calories a day.

– I have lost 16 lbs and I am no longer overweight on the BMI (Body Mass Index)

It’s been tough but I’m feeling great!

21st June

CARE SURREY ETAPE (65 miles).  Very enjoyable day. CARE took brilliant care of us! Picked up Richard at 7; arrived at Rosslyn Park for breakfast briefing at 8.00; hit the road at 8.45. I had planned this as a ‘non-stop’ cycleBox Hill but it turned out that this was an accompanied ride, with 3 breaks including one for lunch.  I had signed us up for the slowest group (12-14 mph) and our leader kept us going at the lowest end of the range. No bad thing, as I learnt that keeping within my energy capacity will be key to completing the 100. Despite the ominous skies overhead we mostly dodged inclement weather, while also being the recipients of some welcome bouts of sunshine. The route took us through Richmond Park, Kingston, Cookham and onto the Surrey Hills. Lunch was about half-way, at the base of Box Hill. Box Hill it turns out is a bit of a pussy-cat. It’s a long drag but the inclines are kind – certainly compared the pulls on my own standard training ride. Approximately 5.5 hours of cycling and the 65 miles was tucked under  belt. Another step up the mileage ladder.

16th – 20th June

A couple of rides (Regents Park circuits & my 24 mile ‘Standard Ride’) plus a PT session. Running is definitely a no-go for me, for the time-being. Yet again after a 2.5 mile run with Richard, my achilles are dreadfully sore.  Thursday & Friday – recovery + carbo-load in advance of the Surrey Etape on Saturday

15th June (50 days to go)

50 days to go and I’ve got my first 50 miler (see below) under my belt. The cycle training has just about gone to schedule but the key positive difference has been the addition of Personal Training, that I hadn’t really planned on. I am still uncertain whether the Ride 100 is achievable but I am absolutely sure that without Richard’s assistance I would have no chance whatsoever. When I signed up, I thought that just ‘getting the miles in my legs’ would have sufficiency – which might have been the case for 100 mile charity ride, the 3 ‘Surrey Lumps’ not withstanding, with regular stops and lunch. However not for a ‘sportif’ that is rode non-stop and to a time standard; 9 hours in the Ride 100’s case. One month of PT later I am 9 lbs lighter, my cardio-vascular fitness is clearly improving and the weights & exercises are paying dividends. So far, so good. Next Saturday I go for 65 miles and my first cycling-encounter with Box Hill.

9th – 14th June

John SamuelTwo longer rides. On Friday, John took me on a circular 55 mile ride through the Bedfordshire and Cambridge countryside. Heading out to the south of Bedford we quickly came to Cardington, where we sidetracked slightly to gaze on the airship hangars at the RAF base there and then on to an early coffee-stop at the newly opened Jordans Mill Cafe & Shop, just outside Biggleswade. Just beyond Tadlow, we ‘mounted the ridge’ and carried on to our lunch spot at a pub in Gamlingay. For lunch, John wrapped himself around a large portion of fish-and-chip, swilled down by a pint of bitter. I satisfied myself, (Richard please note!) with a tuna melt panini  and a Diet Coke. After lunch it was a 20 minute stop at Little Gransden to fix John’s rear tyre – it wouldn’t be a Samuel ride without a puncture! GCThen back to Bedford via Abbotsley, Eynesbury and St Neots. John remarked how much my cycling form had improved since our first ride. This kind commentary aside, I was riding ‘on reserves’ from about the 40 mile mark. On Sunday it was an old friend, the North London Hospice ‘On Yer bike’ ride.  North London Hospice is a charity that I have been supported, and have been on their annual ride, for the last few years. (Information on NLH here.) This year I rode their 40 mile course and was accompanied on the ride by The Webmeister, with support from his Good Wife and my Faithful Hound.

20th May – 6th June 

Now well into my diet. Started off with ‘extreme’ 5 days on 100gms only of carbs a day + no fruit or pulses; followed by a week of the same but with the fruit & pulses. Now on ‘continuation’ whereby I can eat all natural (no processed) foods. Richard’s diet is ‘counter-intuitive’ to calorie-counting in that it values ‘good fat’, especially nuts. This notwithstanding, I have loaded a very useful app, MyFitnessPal, onto my phone. The theory is that 2000 calories a day should suffice for a chap of my dimensions & age to maintain their weight, given my lifestyle profile. If the net balance of calories consumed over calories burnt via extra activities (i.e. exercise) falls below the 2000 mark, this has to come from my (plentiful) fat reserves. And it’s working. In the 2 weeks my average net calories for the day have been 1000 calories. Result: I am lighter by some 9 lbs! And I do feel better and fitter, for it all. Also Richard is quite right about the need to improve my cardio-vascular fitness. This is definitely improving and the impact on my ‘form’ is quite evident. However, it’s all very time-consuming.

20 May: PT session( inc. running circuit of Highgate Woods). Shocked by the fact how lumbered my running has become and how exhausting it is. I am also wheezing. Reminders, not that I need them, that my marathons are literally a ‘thing of the past’ – the 20th Century past!

22 May: 35 mile cycle (with Richard)

23 May: PT session w. run

24 May – 27 May: In Yorkshire (for Young Specky‘s wedding), but managed to a 2.5 mile run on the Sunday morning

28 May: PT session. Unfortunately my Achilles is not reacting well to running. Richard gives me some specific exercises for this, but ‘running’s off the menu’ for the time being.

29 May – 31 May: Bad News – hit by gastric bug & spend 2 days ‘sleeping for England’. Good News – even quicker weight loss!

2 June: Back in the saddle. 17 miles inc. 4 circuits (11 miles) of Regent’s Park at a pleasing 16.3 mph

3 June: Back to Regent’s Park with Gabriel. 15 miles

4 June: PT session (2 circuits of ‘power walking’)

5 June: 24 mile cycle of my ‘home course’. (Muswell Hill/High Barnet & beyond/Mill Hill)

6 June: PT session. My Achilles is better, so running is back. Very pleased that I manage 2 circuits (2.67 miles) and that my pace is picking up  a smidgeon too.

17th May (81 days to go)


Finally make it out to Bedford for a (thrice-postponed) ride into the countryside with John, who is remarkably fit – cycling being his main form of transportation. He takes me out past Kimbolton (where we stopped at a lovely tea shop, for an epic coronation chicken sandwich on the way out and tea & cake on the way back) to just beyond Catworth. 40 miles punctuated (sic!) by a puncture to John’s rear tyre. The weather was kind – dry but a little on the cool side. Really nice cycling with a mate. We put another date in the diary for mid-June.

16th May (82 days to go)

Yesterday, Richard, who is a triathlete, cycled to my home after his swim! I introduce him to the Finsbury ‘cycle track’ (1.25 miles) and we polish off a quick (for me) 5 circuits. Today is my 2nd session. Richard makes me do the 2km run first. I am shocked how ‘wheezy’ I am and how hard the weights & stretches are after a cardio-vascular work-out. More convinced than ever, that I need help!


9th May. (89 days to go)

It has become apparent to me that the Ride 100 is possibly ‘beyond my abilities’. Yes I am an above-averagely fit 63 year old, who has completed a couple of marathons in the final decade of the last century and a 4 day London-Paris cycle in 2004, but who at best have undertaken low-resistance keep-fit  since then. I’ve also been particularly inactive the last couple of years due to my motorcycle accident and last summer’s home move. The bottom line: I may have taken on a little more than I can chew! So I have decided to summon some professional help in the form of my friend. Richard, who has embarked on a mid-life career change as a Personal Trainer. (His website can be found here.)  I’ll be his first paying customer and we’ll be aiming at 2 sessions/week till The Ride. Today is my first session: stretches, weights and a 2km ‘run’. The sessions will be at his home-base in Highgate; to which I cycle (1.5 miles). Richard assesses my preparedness for the event at 5 on a 1-10 scale and sees my numero uno task as needing to improve my cardio-vascular fitness. I’m sure he’s right!

30th April. (98 days to go)

Finally get out for a ‘respectable’ ride. 35 miles to & from Cuffley (B156, off A1000 near Potters Bar).  The ride however was marred at High Barnet, when the persistent honking from a (kind) lorry driver alerted me to the fact that the side pocket of my saddle bag was open and that ‘things’ (credit card, money, keys etc.) had been spilling out for the previous mile or so. Managed to recover all except about £20 and a credit card.

Cuffley B156

27th April

100 days to go! The day passes me by, without a sweat.

9th – 26th April

The brochure, mentioned below, included an 8 week training schedule to get one to July 1, when ‘further instructions’ will follow. There are 2 schedules: one for ‘Beginners’ and one for ‘Improvers’. The 1st week of the ‘Improvers’ schedule calls for a ride of 50 miles and days where you go out twice. I’m a ‘Beginner’ therefore! I calculate that 8 weeks before July kicks off May 6th,  so no need to get too serious yet; which is good because I’m training at a pretty gentle pace at the moment. The weather’s not been great either so, for the most part, it’s been 30 minute gym/swim sessions. However, I did manage some circuits round Regent’s Park and a trip to Potters Bar, with Gabriel. However the

8th April

The Ride 100 entrants ‘What Happens Next’ brochure arrives, confirming my entry. Apparently what I am undertaking is a ‘Sportive’ which the brochure describes as the following:

Sportives are high mileage mass participation rides, typically held over hilly terrain, with big groups setting out in planned phases….. and you can take them as seriously as you like as long as you finish before the cut-off time.”

The cut-off time for the Ride 100 is 9 hours. Currently my pace is in the 11-12 mph zone on longer rides – which include regular stops, often for lunch, and doesn’t include Box & Leith Hill! This is not going to be easy…

7th April

With the improving weather – sunny & a ‘balmy’ 10 degrees – got back on the saddle today; managing to roust the Webmeister from his hibernation  for a 16 mile leg-stretcher to & from Regent’s Park.


26 March 

Purple Action

Today is the international day for epilepsy awareness – also known as Purple Day. Happy Purple Day!

Why do we need Purple Day?

People with epilepsy are experiencing prejudice and discrimination. They are being denied opportunities to work, train, learn, travel and more.

Read Elaine’s story

Purple Day is a chance to shout about epilepsy and help stamp out stigma that surrounds the condition.

You can help stamp out stigma this Purple Day!

24 March

This brutally cold weather is counter-intuitive to crossing one’s threshold and venturing out to do anything, let alone get on a cycle. So I do just that – stay at home and keep warm. I did make it to the gym today for a token session, which included a major amount of time in the steam room! Much encouraged though by an article which says that one needs just 100 days to train for a 100 mile cycle-ride. So that’s OK, then – I can stay in bed for another 32 days!

17 March 2013

Somebody, a close friend who lives in LA, has responded to my Facebook posting! Her niece suffers badly from epilepsy and she makes a generous donation. It’s been a miserably wet, raw weekend. Despite best intentions, the only physical activity I undertake is dog-walking.

dog walking in rain

16 March 

Announced my ride on Facebook, expecting the immediate Zuckerberg Effect. Zilch! My wife sponsors me in sympathy. Total raised so far: £120

15 March (pm)

Good session at gym – aerobiciser (15 mins)/ upper body weights and a cross-country lap on the bike computer. And, thank you to Andre, my business partner at SpeckyFourEyes.com for being my first sponsor!

15 March  (am)

I’ve been out for a half dozen or so winter rides of no more than 10 miles. Today my bid to complete the London-Surrey Ride 100 on August 4th starts in earnest with the setting up of my online donations page, which says the following:

EW bikeIt is 9 years since my last charity-raising venture: the 2004 London-to-Pairs bike ride. (Picture on right – en route.)  This challenge will not be easy and will require a deal of training. Not only am I now a Freedom Pass holder of 3 years standing, but I have never ridden 100 miles in a day nor taken on inclines of the nature of Box Hill and Leith Hill; which is a 2.5 mile non-stop ‘pull’.

My chosen charity, on this occasion, is Epilepsy Action. Two of my closest friends’ daughters suffer from Epilepsy. It’s a terrible condition. I hope that you will see fit to generously support this very fine cause.

Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.

I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

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