AN ALDWICK pensioner has proved he has pedal power.
David Crook, 70, was one of the 19,207 riders who pulled on their helmets and completed the first Prudential Ride London Surrey.
When he finished his 100 mile trip, he said: “What a fantastic ride that was.”
He started at 5.30am from his accommodation near Fleet Street.
Cyclists were organised into waves, each wave having a separate start time which for Mr Crook was 7.14am.
He made his way out through the labyrinth of tunnels near Canary Wharf to The Highway where for a while the route followed the London Marathon course.
He cycled on to Trafalgar Square via Northumberland Avenue, Pall Mall, St James’s Street and Piccadily, then through the tunnel at Hyde Park Corner, past Harrods, the South Kensington Museums and along the Great West Road to Chiswick Bridge.
He then hit Richmond Park where crowds had already gathered. He said: “There was a significant climb up to Newlands Corner but the riders were still relatively fresh.
“A welcome stop and chance to top up water bottles, eat bananas and pick up energy bars, and enjoy the wonderful views before a very fast but safe descent down the A25 followed.”
It is here Mr Crook thinks he recorded an impressive speed of 43.3mph.
He carried on and started his climb up Leith Hill, the highest point in the south east, with a fast but narrow descent back down towards Dorking and onto Box Hill.
After the climb David was knocked over but luckily only suffered abrasions and bruising and his cycle, although damaged, was rideable.
He made his way back into the city and to the finish line where he collected his medal and goody bag before meeting up with his ever-supportive wife.
He said: “It was the most fantastic and enjoyable bike ride I have ever done, the weather could not have been better, it was very well organised but appreciate that the road closures might mean changes to the route in future so I was delighted to have ridden the first and what might be the best ever Ride London.”
Mr Crook’s journey was done in six hours 16 minutes which allowing for stops and accident meant an under six hour ride.