Four friends not only fought the course on Sunday’s RideLondon 46 event, but also the weight and gearing restrictions of Boris Bikes.
The group refused to give in after their bikes were stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning before the event, and hired the London hire bikes to complete the event.
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Joe Radmore, 36, his two friends and his brother were planning on taking on the 100-mile event, but awoke at 5-30am to find their bikes missing after making pre-event checks in the street the night before.
The bikes were then locked away in a garage by Radmore’s Islington home, but the padlock had been broken and the bikes stolen while they slept.
After dealing with the police, the four friends only had enough time to enter the 46-mile version of the event, and headed to Shoreditch Park en route to the start to pick up the three-geared Boris Bikes after being unable to call in loan bikes from friends.
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They were riding the event in aid of Hospice care, having raised £1,300 for the charity.
“They had used an angle grinder on the padlock and taken the bikes. We were devastated. Someone must have seen us the evening before and come back specifically,” Mr Radmore told the London Evening Standard.
“My brother had flown in from Switzerland and the other guys had come up from Essex.
“We were so deflated. We felt we were letting everyone down, the charity, ourselves — we called everyone we could think of with racing bikes but at that time of the morning no one was answering. Then we just thought, ‘hang on — we can do it on Boris Bikes’.”
Hire of the Santander sponsored bikes costs £2 for access and further £2 every half-an-hour after the first 30 minutes, meaning the group would have a had a bit of a bill pay over the more than three hours they had the bikes.
Transport for London has since waived their fees however, after hearing their story. Mr Radmore also said it wasn’t the first time he’d had a bike stolen in the capital.
“After the police turned up we decided we were not going to let these criminals ruin our day nor let down our charity so we hired four Santander bikes, rode to the start line and completed the course, finishing down the Mall to big cheers,” Mr Radmore added.
“We haven’t had our receipt through from TfL for the bike hire. It took us three hours, so I guess it will be quite a lot — not as much as the amount we raised for our charity though.
“London is the Wild West. There is literally zero downside to stealing a bike in London, because even if you get caught, the worst you will get is a slap on the wrists.”