Ashley Toft, a Bipolar UK Trustee, shares his experience of taking part in RideLondon - Surrey 100.

A keen cyclist, Ashley wanted to support Bipolar UK, which he knows does such fantastic work for the surprisingly large number of people affected by bipolar. The whole idea of riding 100 miles in a day seemed like a great challenge to Ashley and the route looked really exciting, especially riding through London with all the roads closed off.

“Anything goes, really”

With only a mountain bike at home, Ashley hired a road bike for the big day. But when he got to the start line, he was surprised to discover the number of hybrid and mountain bikes lining up alongside him.

"My legs ground to a halt.”

Leith Hill was the steepest part of the ride, and Ashley found it a real challenge, particularly on his hire bike, where the gears were a little different! His faithful mountain bike, at home in the garage, was called to mind.

A glimpse at the peloton of professional riders conquering the course at super speed spurred Ashley on and it wasn’t long before The Mall was in his sights.

Without a doubt, the best part for Ashley was was the final run to the finishing line in central London with the crowds willing him on. The crowd support for the RideLondon 100 is fantastic and makes the event something special.

"Riding through London with the streets closed is a unique experience and feels like a real privilege.”

The course support is excellent with loads of water and snack stops along the way. Whilst there are some pretty serious riders that take part, there are many more fun riders doing it for great causes such as Bipolar UK.