Have you ever heard of the Prudential RideLondon?
Ok, let me tell you about it. The Prudential RideLondon is a festival of cycling events that takes place in London and Surrey around mid August. The key events are the two main races: the London-Surrey 100 (open to amateur cyclists via a ballot) and the London-Surrey Classic (for professionals). It’s great to watch! Well, it’s not as popular as the Tour de France – yet! – but it’s a fantastic event.
Around 23,000 cyclists took part in 2014. I was going to be one of them. I had won a place.
Then things changed. And I ended up as photographer for one of the charities!
It all started with a series of emails and a portfolio submission. Then an email saying “Yes you are in”. A meeting in a pub on a Friday evening, with a printed brief of what the charity expected and a map of the allocated sites, sealed the deal.
Uh, and there was also a t-shirt to pick up.
And then Sunday 10th August arrived. The day of the race! The weather forecast was terrible so I packed up rain gear and a change of clothes. Then Wimbledon Hill, here I come!
The rest is history: six solid hours of sports photography, mostly in torrential rain, always looking for the best spots along the cycling route as it unwinded in the Wimbledon area, never taking my eyes off the road so that I wouldn’t miss opportunities. Soaking wet after an hour but not giving up!
Here’s the tired cyclist who is puffing after climbing the steep Wimbledon Hill.
There is a sprinter who whizzes past the crowd all focused on the timing.
Over there a mother with two kids who are trying to spot daddy in the group of cyclists that’s arriving. Their smiles as he cycles past and waves at them are priceless.
All my praises go to the cyclists who braved the adverse weather conditions and defied rain, wind and hurricane to take part in the race. When the sun finally came out, the atmosphere around was incredible!
I will leave you with some of the photos I took on the day. And a mention about the charity I did this for: it’s called Bliss and it gives vital support & care to premature babies in the UK.