The last BWC I participated in was back in 2015 - the first to be held in London - and I loved it. I entered the ballot for BWC 2016 but didn't get through. I missed not being able to attend but in the cold light of day I didn't miss going as much as I thought I would.
Roll forward to this year I didn't bother entering. Although I could afford the £50 entry fee it didn't really seem like the best value for money, especially when one considers that the Ride100 - also a ballot - costs £16 more. For about half an hours racing, meal and medal it doesn't seem like value for money.
The BWC is restricted to 550 participants but on race day a sizeable number won't show. In 2015 this was a kick in the soft dangly bits for those who had supported Brompton by turning up to watch proceedings but unable to take part, despite wanting to. I believe the same thing happened last year. I can understand why London has been chosen but a venue that caters for only 550 participants does not reflect the numbers that want to take part. This will be the third year where the permitted number of participants has not increased. I can understand why and totally get it. It is all an exercise in marketing the brand.
In addition to all of this when I consider what cycle rides provide more lasting memories, it wasn't the BWC. The ones that stood out for me include cycling through the night in all weathers for several hours to arrive at various coastal locations the following morning. Cycling along the Thames path toward the Thames Flood Barrier and back. Cycling to Box Hill and back day or night. Cycling along the Brighton coast wondering if the waves will crash over the sea wall. These memories will last longer and in some cases provide more of a physical test that can be enjoyed at will, without the need for a ballot. If you are lucky enough to have got in, enjoy as it is a great event. If not, get over it and think about applying next year.
It was then much to surprise that I too received an email informing me that I had been unsuccessful in gaining a place at the BWC 2017. This induced much scratching of the head and me saying, 'I don't understand...I didn't even enter this year?!' It seems that my eldest Orangette entered for me on my behalf. I love her for this but as predicted I would stand more chance of becoming the next Pope!