If you are in London or travelling over to London to watch the Olympics then no doubt one of the events you’ll be wanting to catch a glimpse of (For free!) is the 2012 Olympic Road Race on the Saturday 28th and Sunday the 29th of July.
This is a 250km route or 156 mile route that starts off and ends at The Mall. London Cyclist blog reader Iain has already covered the Box Hill section of the route. This is where most people will want to spectate as the male cyclists do a total of nine loops and the female cyclists go round twice.
Other good viewing spots for the Olympic Road Race
If you don’t fancy the Trek over to Box Hill then the route has plenty more interesting sections from which to view the action. Not least of which is at the Mall where, fingers crossed, team Great Britain will be clocking in some medals. However, this is likely to be very packed.
From there the Olympic cycling route heads past Buckingham Palace which will no doubt be an ideal spot for an iconic picture. This is one of the spots where you can watch all the cyclists riding off, go grab some food and then watch their return later in the day. While they are destroying calories at a rate never seen before you can enjoy a good pub lunch. No pain, no pain!
From there on the A308 goes through Knightsbridge and Chelsea providing plenty of opportunities to watch and yet not strafe too far away from central London. This is also a good place for shopping.
Once over the Thames the Olympic cycling route makes its way to Richmond Park. Again this is a good viewing spot, especially for the hill climbs. Although, as anyone who has ridden in Richmond Park will tell you, these are far from the most challenging.
From there things continue into West London and the next big park with a good viewing position is Bushy Park. While you are there Hampton Court Palace with it’s fountains, gardens and famous maze is a must see.
After Bushy Park, if you are making the effort to head so far out of London you’ll probably most want to catch the action along the A25. This road intersects plenty of nice village pubs and coffee shops which you can step out of view the action as the cyclists speed past. The villages of Sphere, Gomshall, Abinger Hammer, Wotton and Westcott are likely to be popular.
From then on the route continues to Box Hill. Where the main action will happen such as key breakaways.
The route then works its way through picturesque little South London parks which make for excellent picnic spots. Although, if that is your tactic for the day then you may as well catch the action going and coming back from Richmond Park.
To review the entire ride you can check it out here.
If you are visiting London then you’ll also be looking for a place to stay
Hotels are likely to be packed and expensive during the Olympic events in London. Another option is to use Roomorama. This allows you to rent rooms, apartments and homes. If you are making a break from London during the Olympics it’s also worth noting as a good website to list your apartment for rental.
Roomorama provides good rates, secure payment and is also partnered up with various travel service providers to provide cool perks such as discounted mobile internet access.
Most of the apartments are aimed at mid to high-end working professionals and families. Although, there’s something in there for budget travellers too.
You can take a look at the accommodations available for the London Olympic Games.