Ski Club CC cyclist Zoe Phillips shares her experience about the day the team swapped skis and boards for wheels at Prudential Ride London
It's 2.45am on Sunday 4th August 2019. I began to wonder what on earth I'd done by agreeing to represent the Ski Club of Great Britain along with three other Reps, to cycle 100 miles from the east London down to the Surrey hills and back in time for lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
'Come on Zoe,' I recall saying to myself, 'It will feel alright once I'm up and going'. I dragged myself into the shower, heated up my 'take away porridge' (which unfortunately exploded in the microwave), grabbed my packed bag, bike and energy bars and set off.
My carriage awaited, whisking me across to the London 2012 Olympic Park over in Stratford. An early taxi was necessary in order to avoid the bridge closures, since London starts to close up from 4am in order to make the roads free for the 25,000 cyclists that have taken to the streets annually, since Boris Johnson set up the event in 2013.
As the taxi pulled into the Olympic park at about 4.30am, I was slightly embarrassed to be the first cyclist to arrive, second only to the security and even the baggage van attendants. The world was still asleep.
The continental tyre stand offered me a director's chair and I sat there, slightly shivering, definitely yawning and generally wondering what the hell I was doing, being the first person into the 'black zone' for cyclists. However, one by one, as the sun gradually started to say hello and other cyclists started to arrive.
I was thankful to meet with Kim who rocked up at about 6am and we prepared to make our way to the starting gate, Black C section. We were slightly worried about the boys who we had not heard or seen from but eventually, they arrived. Checking we had sunglasses, helmet, nutrition and drinks loaded up we headed to the start. There were many loo breaks en route but I'll put that down to the nerves kicking in.
The clock counted down, we took a few crazy photos and then pow, the gun went off and off we sped.