The Surrey Hills in the 2019 Prudential RideLondon 100

This video is about the Surrey Hills part of my Prudential RideLondon 100 in 2019, taking in Leith Hill and Box Hill. It’s a “director’s cut” from my full ride post at https://www.briansutton.uk/?p=1084.

The middle part of the video shows the cycling log-jam on Leith Hill, where we had to stop seven times, losing 10 minutes, on a section of no more than 400 metres, on the less steep, earlier part of the Leith Hill Lane climb.

Someone had fallen off just at the beginning of the steeper part ahead of us. Very frustrating! Apparently he rode off without thanking anyone for the help he was given to get going again.

The Leith Hill ascent is quite narrow, and there are always some cyclists walking on all the steep parts, effectively making it even narrower, which you can see this from the video.

The way to minimise such delays is to get an earlier start time, as advised by my friend Leslie Tennant, who has done the event half a dozen times. That keeps you clear of the slower riders.

But it was a great day overall, with the usual good weather, a big improvement over the previous year’s very wet weather, which I covered in my blog at https://www.briansutton.uk/?p=1108.

Here, then, is my Surrey Hills segment from the 2019 event.

The Prudential Ride London 100 Surrey hills, including Leith Hill and Box Hill

I have added here some screenshots of my Strava analysis for the Leith Hill segment, showing the speed, cadence and heart rate drops during those seven stops.

Time-based Strava analysis chart

First, the plot against time, which shows the speed drops very clearly, annotated as Stops 1 to 7. On the elevation profile, you can see that all of these were on the earlier part of the climb (shaded). The faller must had fallen at the point where the log-jam cleared (when a marshal told me what had happened, as I rode past at that point) at the end of that shaded section.

Important: Note that in this time-based x-axis chart, the time scale has the effect of lengthening (expanding) those parts of the x-axis scale (compared to the distance-based x-axis version later on), where we were ascending, as we took proportionately more time to cover a given distance during the delays (which would have been the case to a lesser extent at normal, slower uphill speeds anyway), and equivalently shortening the descending parts of the hill(s), where we cover more ground in comparatively less time. The shaded section of the chart shows this expansion effect on that (slow) part of the Leith Hill climb (behind the word “Leith”).

Strava analysis showing the 7 stops totalling 10 minutes

We see that the chart runs from about ride time 3:36:40 to 3:46:30, around 10 minutes. On the video I show that the first stop on that section was at time of day 10:47:14, and we got going again fully at 10:57:09, again about 10 minutes from beginning to end.

Distance-based Strava analysis chart

Next, the same Strava analysis, but with the graphs plotted against distance, instead of time.

As the elevation is in metres, the distance-based x-axis presents a more faithful rendition of the inclines – metres of height plotted against against kilometres of distance travelled, in the usual way.

Compared with the time-based chart above, this shows up as steeper ascending parts of all hills in the profile (slow riding), and less steep downsides for the hills (fast riding), which is usual when comparing time vs. distance based Strava ride analysis charts.

You will note that the (lighter) shaded section where the stops occurred is actually very short in the distance based graph (the light vertical line, behind the “i” in the “Leith” annotation) – it looks longer (in the time-based version, as well as apparently less steep as a result) in the darker shaded area of the time-based chart above. In reality, the steepness isn’t significantly different on that section, and it IS short.

Strava analysis showing the 7 stops totalling <400 metres

In this chart, this same section runs from just over 88.6 kms into the ride to just under 89 kms; i.e. between 350 – 400 metres from start to finish, some of which was walking, with a little riding, between periods of standing and waiting.

The little dips in the red heart rate curve at the 7 stops show up a little more clearly* on this chart too.

I eliminated the standing/waiting parts from the video, but you can see that I was moving very slowly even when trying to ride short parts of this section. Average speed on that section was, say, 400m in 10 minutes – 2.4 kms/hour, or 1.5 mph. Even I can ride up that hill a lot faster than that!

*The heart chart dips looks a little like ECG depressed t-waves. I know what those look like – I was diagnosed with depressed t-wave in a BUPA ECG test 50 years ago (for health insurance in my my first private sector job).

Because of that they also stress tested me on a treadmill, and had a problem getting my heart rate up, even raising the front of the treadmill, as well as speeding it up. So they also diagnosed brachycardia (slow heart rate). They found that my ECG returns to a normal pattern on exercise – phew!

A new look at Sobremunt, the hardest climb in Mallorca

This video is about the Sobremunt climb, especially near the top of the climb which is quite hard to find amongst the various agricultural estates up there – such as the Sobremunt estate itself. I added new music to it, and some more commentary and stills.

Sobremunt, bottom to top, and some exploring

Here is some mapping for the ride:

Here are some views of the profile of the Sobremunt climb, from GCN and Cycle Fiesta:

I have also added the Strava analysis for the climb segment (with the embarrassingly slow time!) from the Ma1041 junction to the top of the Strava segment (not actually the top of the climb, but where I met Niels & Peter (in the video).

And finally, just the route for the climb, some landmarks, and start of the descent:-

The climb from the Ma1041, and the start of the descent past La Posada de Marquès
The climb from the Ma1041, and the start of the descent past La Posada de Marquès

6Points Mallorca Zwift training ride led by Dame Sarah Storey

Dame Sarah Storey, British Olympic cycling champion, led our 6Points Mallorca Sunday training ride today. See the live stream at YouTube at

For those that enjoyed the ride, we also highlighted the 6Points Mallorca charity JustGiving page which helps a disadvantaged children’s charity, Asdica in Mallorca.

See more about Asdica, and our other charities and sponsors, at the 6Points website. Over €66,000 has been collected through 6Points events over three years.

The ride today, a mixture of peloton, sprint and minirace riding, was over 2 laps of Watopia’s Sand and Sequoias course, about 43 kms, with the minirace from the bottom of the Titan’s Grove KoM second time around. It’s a lovely course, and the minirace is a tough one at 10kms, with that KoM to start, with even the descent after that a little lumpy too.

We do the Fuego Flats sprint twice, and then take it again at the end of the minirace, which finishes at the arch on that same sprint section.

It was a very well attended ride today, with a great lead by Sarah at even pace, keeping it very much together, until the minirace start 10kms from the end at the bottom of the Titan’s Grove KoM.

I was, of course, taking my red beacon duties very seriously, and had a good little group around me for a good part of the event.

We had 218 booked to ride, with 171 riding and 133 finishers. Our podium included a son and father combo, the Scotts, divided by Bruch Wu, always at the pointed end of our miniraces.

Regulars and locals riding included (roughly in finishing order): Jed Scott (Draft, a very rapid 1st, well done!), Bruch Wu (a regular podium in our 6Points and GGCC events, 2nd), Hamish Scott (Jed’s dad, a regular and strong rider in our events, 3rd), Tony Romo (4th), Martin Smith (5th), Sean Ekblom (GGCC beacon and 6th), Beth McIver (CryoGen), Alex Fthenakis (GGCC), Del Chattelle (GGCC), Roger Bloom, Alastair Pell (Nightingale), Charlie Farnham (Storey racing), Twinny Styler (Storey racing), Sarah Storey (Beacon and Storey Racing(!)), Heather Mayne (GGCC Zwift race team), Niall Hughes (GGCC), Gavin Stewart, Colin Sinclair (RACC), Derek Brown (GGCC), Leroy Nahay, Andrea McDowell, Andy Cattanach (GGCC), Euan Gordon (GGCC Beacon), Gavin Johnston (GGCC and graphics designer for our stream screen), Scott Ballantyne (GGCC), Leslie Tennant (GGCC), Christine Catterson (GGCC), Brian Sutton (GGCC and red beacon) and Fleury Stoops (GGCC).

All ride results are at ZwiftPower for those registered ZP, or on Companion (but with lots of flyers) for everyone.

I DQd 6 riders on ZwiftPower for being ahead of the beacon at the minirace start.

Sarah will be leading for GGCC again on 6th June, on the 11.30am BST (10.30 UTC) GGCC Saturday morning training ride, and we look forward to that!

My 2018 Prudential RideLondon 100

This video is about my 2018 Prudential RideLondon 100, riding for Marie Curie (as I did again a year later in 2019) in memory of my mother-in-law Laura, and in thanks for the help Marie Curie gave her and us during her final illness. I’ll be supporting Marie Curie again this year, 2020, even though I have my own entry.

It was pretty poor weather, much worse than usual, starting to rain at or near the start, and not stopping until around Dorking; and it was also pretty cold as a result, so much so that I refused a couple of stops, having shivered at the two where I did stop. I also had a puncture at a faster part of the course at Putney Heath, and also after I finished. The Continental guys at the finish were great, and together we found a hidden tiny speck of glass, neither visible or tangible from outside or inside the tyre, so all was well for my ride home, with no repeat of the puncture!

Overall, though it was a great experience, and my first attempt at the Prudential, and together with the Saturday Freeride (also shown in the pictures) the whole weekend was the usual fulfilling, enjoyable and well-organised experience, especially with my riding buddy, Leslie, who has done the Prudential many times, and whom I joined up with at the end.

I look forward to riding with Marie Curie again at the 2020 edition on August 16th.

My 2018 Prudential RideLondon 100

Here is a short extract video, just covering the section between Leith Hill and Box Hill

The Leith Hill and Box Hill climbs in the (very wet) 2018 Prudential Ridelondon 100

My 2019 Prudential RideLondon 100 with Marie Curie

Getting my ballot entry for the 2020 Prudential RideLondon 100 has encouraged me to sort my GoPro clips out from the 2019 edition, and to make this video using those and pictures from the event – mine, the official Sportograf ones, and others taken by friends. It’s 47 minutes (it’s a long Sportive, took me 6 hours or so!) but there is also a short video, to get the flavour, on my YouTube channel, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibC54aueESw. 

On both this blog AND YouTube you will find quite a lot about cycling in Mallorca and the Balearics too – my next adventure will be the 6Points Mallorca ride on May 15/16/17th – read about that on my blog pinned post, at the top. It’s a 420kms 3-day ride, with 7500m of climbing, with plenty of coffee and cake opportunities! Lots about the May 2019 here on my blog too – just search for 6Points (you’ll also find the October 2019 Ibiza/Formentera 6Points events. In October 2020, that will be a 6Points Menorca ride).

THIS post is about my own 2019 Prudential RideLondon 100, riding for Marie Curie (as I did in 2018) in memory of my mother-in-law Laura, and in thanks for the help Marie Curie gave her and us during her final illness. I will ride for them again this year, even though I have my own entry.

It was much better weather than for the 2018 edition, and I was nearly an hour faster, despite delays on a crowded Leith Hill owing to someone falling off and needing help to get going again – which he did, with no thanks given to the marshals (they told me) but causing a 10 minute delay for everyone behind – including me. Just an occupational hazard of any large Sportive.

Overall it was a great experience, and together with the Saturday freeride (also shown in the pictures) the whole weekend was the usual fulfilling, enjoyable and well-organised experience.

This year I had the special pleasure of staying with my friend, Stuart, and his family Harriet and Lily, plus riding to the start with his son, Freddie.

I rode with Stuart (and Colin) back in the early 1960s with Bruce Castle Cycling Club, before my University days and the world of work. Riding with Freddie out to the Olympic Park closed a lovely loop!

I met up with riding friends Leslie (GGCC real life riding) and Simon (GGCC Zwifter, like me nowadays) at the end (Simon was under 5 hours, Leslie just on 5 hours) at Green Park, with the BHF charity, and Leslie’s brother Stephen who will be riding in 2020, as will Leslie, Simon and I.

Then it was dinner back at Stuart’s, and the train back to Glasgow the next day. Ernie (my bike) and I had travelled down to London very smoothly by Virgin Rail, and Leslie joined us for the return trip.

What a treat the whole weekend was! I’m looking forward to the 2020 edition enormously.

My 2019 Prudential RideLondon 100
The short version, no GoPro!

6Points Ibiza Oct 6th 2019 – full version

This video is about the 6Points cycling trip to Ibiza on 6th Oct 2019. It’s is a more detailed record of our visit than my previous shorter video, and includes GoPro clips from my bike, as well as photos taken along the way.

Our ride comprised 140 kms or so of cycling, with about 1700m of climbing, and all of us on the ride agreed that it was another great day out, following our 6Points ride in Formentera the previous day.

Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. Its largest settlements are Ibiza Town (Catalan: Vila d’Eivissa, or simply Vila), Santa Eulària des Riu, and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Its highest point, called Sa Talaiassa (or Sa Talaia), is 475 metres (1,558 feet) above sea level; we visited Sant Josep de sa Talaia, as our highest point early in the ride.

Ibiza has become well known for its association with nightlife, electronic dance music, and for the summer club scene, all of which attract large numbers of tourists drawn to that type of holiday. David Guetta, whose music provides the background to this video, has DJ’d in Ibiza, back in the party days!

By visiting the north, east, south and western compass points of the island, as well as the highest point, and the (sea level!) beach at Portinatx, we saw most of the island from several viewpoints.

The steepest part of the ride, the climb out of Portinatx, after lunch, was memorable!

I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

Our 6Points Ibiza ride in October 2019
Philip, Bryan, Anja, Alan, Dalia, Simon, Brian, Nick, (Alex and Joules) – the 6Points crew!

A shorter video of the same ride, but with no GoPro footage

6Points Formentera, Oct 2019 – full version

This video is about the 6Points cycling trip to Formentera on 5th Oct 2019. It’s is a more detailed record of our visit than my previous shorter video, and includes GoPro clips from my bike, as well as photos taken along the way.

Although it was only 70kms or so of cycling, and not very hilly, all of us on the ride agreed that it was a great day out. By visiting the north, east, south and western compass points of the island, as well as the highest point, and dipping our bikes in the sea to recognise the lowest altitude of our ride, we saw most of the island from several viewpoints.

I discovered, while putting the video together, that at least two of the lighthouses at compass point locations, Far de La Mola in the east and , and Far de Barbaria in the south, have some interesting claims to fame, as well as Formentera itself having something of a “hippie” reputation. I knew that Ibiza is regarded by some as a “clubbing” island (video in preparation!) but I didn’t know of Formentera’s background.

Next to the Far de La Mola lighthouse is a 1978 monument in honour of the writer Jules Verne’s birth in 1828, for the mention of it he makes in his book “Hector Servadac (travels and adventures through the solar system)”.

The lighthouse at Cap de Barbaria, the southernmost point of Formentera, is the setting for the film “Lucía y el sexo” (Sex and Lucía) by director Julio Medem.

Our tip to the easternmost point at Can Marroig took us through the Ses Salines natural reserve, land acquired from the owners of the farm and properties there, once home to vineyards set up after the disruption of French vineyards caused by phylloxera plague. And back in the day, the original hippie crowd, such as Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin, came here in the ’60s.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

Our 6Points cycling trip to Formentera, October 5th 2019

6Points Mallorca 2019, Day 3

My rider view of Day 3 of the 6Points Mallorca in May 2019, organised by Bryan Visser, with my group (one of four) led by Philip Crawford. We rode from our overnight stay at Castell de Mar in Cala Millor back to our starting point in Santa Ponça, about 165kms, flatter than Day 1 (also 165kms) and longer than day 2 (115kms).

The morning part of the ride took us to the southernmost point of Mallorca, the lighthouse Far des Cap de ses Salines, before lunch, and then the afternoon ride back, skirting Palma to the north, to Calvià and then to our finish at Es Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça.

In my view the 6Points Mallorca is the best way to ride around the whole of Mallorca perimeter, in 3 days, and have the time to smell the flowers, so to speak. Lunches, coffee stops (of which you can see a couple in this video) and great dinners at the overnight hotels.

We visit the 4 compass points, the Lighthouses in the extreme West (Sant Elm), North (Cap Formentor), East (Capdepera) and South (Ses Salines) of Mallorca, plus the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest – any sea level point, Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça in our case at the beginning and the end of our 425kms ride, with 7000m of climbing. A great 3-day weekend of cycling!

Six Points is a charity ride for Asdica, on behalf of disabled children in Mallorca, so if you’d like to donate, there’s a JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfundi… . Please mention my name!! We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish of the Mallorca event, at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça.

Day 3 of our May 2019 6Points Mallorca

6Points Mallorca 2019, Day 2

My rider view of Day 2 (the easiest, shortest day!) of the 6Points Mallorca, May 18th 2019, organised by Bryan Visser, with my group (one of four) led by Philip Crawford.

On this second day, we started at Tolo’s, visited the Cap Formentor lighthouse (the northernmost point of Mallorca) and then back to Tolo’s for coffee and cake before the next leg.

The easternmost point was another lighthouse, the Faro Capdepera at Cala Ratjada, before finishing the day at our overnight hotel at Cala Millor, the Castell de Mar.

In my view the 6Points is best way to ride around the whole of Mallorca perimeter, in 3 days, and have the time to smell the flowers, so to speak. Lunches, coffee stops and great dinners at the overnight hotels.

We visit the 4 compass points, the Lighthouses in the extreme West (Sant Elm), North (Cap Formentor), East (Capdepera) and South (Ses Salines) of Mallorca, plus the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest – any sea level point, Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça in our case at the beginning and the end of our 425kms ride, with 7000m of climbing. A great 3-day weekend of cycling! Six Points is a charity ride for Asdica, on behalf of disabled children in Mallorca, so if you’d like to donate, there’s a JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfundi… . Please mention my name!! We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish of the Mallorca event in May, at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça.

On the climb at Cap Formentor

6Points Mallorca 2019 Day 1

My rider view of Day 1 (the hilliest day!) of the 6Points Mallorca May 2019, organised by Bryan Visser, with my group (one of four) led by Philip Crawford.

The whole day was about 165kms, with 3500m of climbing. We rode from Santa Ponça to Sant Elm to the most westerly point of Mallorca, and then up to Andratx for the Ma10 road all the way to Port Pollensa (via coffee and cake at Restaurante Son Tomas in Banyalbufar, for our first overnight stop, preceded by dinner at Tolo’s (of course!). Although we diverted to Fornalutx for lunch, Puig Major is a long steady climb!

The view from the start of the climb!

It was a pretty windy day, and quite damp in the afternoon, after lunch in Fornalutx, at Restarante Es Turo, and at the highest point of our ride (and the three days) at the summit of Puig Major, it was 4˚C – brrhh!

In my view the 6Points is the best way to ride around the whole of Mallorca perimeter, in 3 days, and have the time to smell the flowers, so to speak. Lunches, coffee stops and great dinners at the overnight hotels. We visit the 4 compass points, the Lighthouses in the extreme West (Sant Elm), North (Cap Formentor), East (Capdepera) and South (Ses Salines) of Mallorca, plus the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest – any sea level point, Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponsa in our case at the beginning and the end of our 425kms ride, with 7000m of climbing.

A great 3-day weekend of cycling! Six Points is a charity ride for Asdica, on behalf of disabled children in Mallorca, so if you’d like to donate, there’s a JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfundi… . Please mention my name!! We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish of the Mallorca event in May, at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponça.

Day 1 of our 6Points tour of Mallorca, all compass points, and the highest and lowest