LONDON Aug 14 Amateur cyclist Aemon Atkinson
found himself alongside professional riders competing in the
2012 Olympic test event after his leisurely ride was suddenly
transformed on Sunday.
Suitably dressed but mounted on a bike that brought strange
looks from some of the world's best cyclists, Anderson and a
friend were not to be deterred on the London road race route.
"We thought we were going to get arrested being on the road
while the race was in progress but no one batted an eyelid,"
Atkinson told Reuters as he walked his battered old steel-frame
bike up some steps near the finish line.
"A few team cars went by and thought 'What the bloody hell's
going on here?' but everyone was cheering us which made us go on
a bit more."
Atkinson and his younger companion had already done over 70
kilometres to get to near Richmond Park, where they waited for
the main peloton to go past before cycling at a safe distance
They plodded along the route to Putney Bridge over the
Thames, which to their surprise was still open, so they pressed
on and were soon swamped by riders who had been dropped by the
"They came past us like a bat out of hell, so we tried to
latch on for our 15 minutes of fame. The spectators urged us
After pausing briefly on some steps adjoining the Mall,
Atkinson went off for some lunch before facing another
70-kilometre slog back home.
(Edited by; To query or comment on this story email