Monday, 1 August 2016

Ride London 2016

I didn't get a place in this year's Ride London event - as it happens I wouldn't have been able to ride anyway, we had a family christening to attend - with me as the photographer for the day!

Gary, Dave the damp, Baz the bell and newbie, Paul from over the border (as opposed to Paul from over the road, and because he lives in Shropshire - which is almost Wales!) travelled down to take part - for my part I downloaded the 'Ride London App' and managed to load up the guys so I could track their progress during the day via the interactive map of the course - technology is so sweet! - I had four little blue circles on my map, lined up on the start-line, each with the rider's initials displayed.

Now back behind the camera - church, vicar etc etc

I checked progress through the day - technology is sweet... just as long as it works. It seemed to me that the promise of interactive tracking had been something of a hollow promise on behalf of the developers - Despite rigourous checking, closing the app, restarting the app, shutting down and restarting the iphone - my little blue blobs didn't move past the first check point.

Back to the camera - group shots, family, friends etc etc

Later I checked again - this time a few of the circles had moved a short way - but one seemed to be stuck? - Was it the app? - Did I need wifi? - I hooked up to Google and did a quick search for Prudential Ride London - I soon discovered that a couple of serious accidents had halted proceedings out on the road - air ambulances had been involved to lift the injured to hospital and the knock-on effect, with something like 30,000 cyclists on narrow roads, was massive delays. It seemed like the app was giving me good representation after all.

Back to the camera - post christening now - barbecue etc etc...

I kept checking throughout the day - right up to a time I figured they should have completed the course - the little blue blobs were still out there - but gradually creeping along. Later I could see that three had finished together but with Paul from over the border still out - at least that's what the app said. Then I got a text from Gary telling me they'd finished but the delays had been considerable and they'd had to walk for some considerable distance.

It's a shame when this sort of thing happens - and it seems that something happens every year at Ride London. Although this was only the fourth year, there's been representation from this blog at the event for three of those years and each has thrown up reasons for delays or diversions from the course. First time torrential rain caused part of the course to be closed, last year someone sadly died on Leith Hill and this year a couple of serious accidents - I don't think there's anything the organisers could do to alleviate any of these unfortunate incidents - and with so many riders on the road consequential delays are somewhat inevitable. Of the reports I've seen so far riders were patient and typically stoical in their outlook - which is how it should be.

Camera work all done - just the post-shoot editing to tackle - almost 600 photographs to be looked at, edited and stripped down to around 100 maximum. That will keep me busy for a few evenings this week.

Meantime the 'Tour' is making slow progress too.....

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