After a two-year break RideLondon’s 100-mile cycling event made a successful return this year with a new route that took in the Essex countryside rather than the Surrey Hills. With less elevation and wider roads used, it was more accessible than ever to beginner and intermediate cyclists – so no matter what your fitness level is now, we recommend entering RideLondon-Essex 2023, which will take place on 28th May 2023.
You will be able to sign up for the event from Wednesday 28 September, when entries open for next year’s race on ridelondon.co.uk. It’s worth being one of the first 10,000 people to sign up because you’ll get a guaranteed place, rather than entering the ballot.
If you don’t manage to grab one of the first come, first served places then you will enter the ballot for the remainder of the spots in the race, which had 25,000 participants in 2021. You have until 5pm on Tuesday 1st November to enter the ballot.
Even with the more accessible route, you might still feel that 100 miles is a tad too far to cycle in one go, in which case keep an eye on the RideLondon-Essex website for announcements about the other events taking part over the weekend. In 2021 there were also 30- and 60-mile events, plus a short FreeCycle ride.
We would encourage anyone to give the 100-mile event a try though. The distance might sound daunting but you have plenty of time to work through a 100-mile training plan, and RideLondon-Essex 100 is one of the best ones for beginners to tackle. The total elevation you climb is around 1,100m, which sounds like a lot, but it’s broken up into lots of small climbs across the undulating route – and the wide roads used mean you have space to ride even in an event with 25,000 cyclists.
There are also welfare stops along the route where you can stop to use the loo, grab a drink and a snack and even have your bike checked by a mechanic. In 2021 these stops didn’t count towards your time, so you can take a proper break and make sure you’re ready to carry on.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.