Chiswick Cycling Club’s Chris Blishen admits the lure of a vehicle-free environment was too good to pass up as he prepares to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 is a 100-mile ride through the closed roads of the capital and the stunning Surrey countryside, which finishes in The Mall.
The ride, which Chris will be taking part in for the first time, goes right past his front door in Chiswick.
After only taking up cycling less than 18 months ago, the 60-year-old has done plenty of preparation for the 100-miler.
“I’ve only been road biking for just over a year or so,” he said.
“I started going to the gym and got into spinning. And then last January somebody suggested that we ride the London Revolution.
“It dawned on me I would need to buy a bike, which I did, and then I decided to join a group of people cycling to Amsterdam, which was fantastic.
“It was 320 miles, which we did over four days.
“It was a revelation cycling in France, Belgium and Netherlands – all the cars give way to cyclists and it’s brilliant.
“I can’t say I enjoy cycling in traffic around London, so I’m really looking forward to biking on the closed roads.
“The route comes literally past my front door and I’m intrigued at what cycling with 25,000 people will be like. I’m mildly nervous but it will lovely not cycling in traffic.”
Prudential RideLondon is an annual two-day festival of cycling which celebrates the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.
After failing to gain a place through the original ballot, Chris was chosen to be part of Team Pru after winning a competition.
And the treasurer at Chiswick Cycling Club admits his love affair with cycling has grown quicker than he thought possible.
“I joined Chiswick Cycling Club, which had only just started up, about a year ago and we’re a very sociable club – we’ll take anybody and ride at anybody’s speed,” added Chris.
“Cycling is a great way to stay fit and something I really enjoy. I try to go out at least a couple of times a week and it’s to be sociable and stay fit.
“I’m treasurer there and without really trying we have a mailing list of around 50 people with a core of around 15 or 20 who go out on rides regularly. We’ll take anybody, it’s really fun.”
Prudential RideLondon takes place on Saturday and Sunday.
Visit www.pru.co.uk for more information.