Fifteen minutes before the tour was due to depart Greenwich for Canterbury, I joined the crowds patiently waiting to cheer the cyclists on. The event was much more popular than I thought it'd be - I had to walk for a good 10 minutes along the route before I could find a little gap to squeeze in without having to climb on anything, stand on one foot or crouch.
At 11 AM on the dot, a colourful pack of 189 riders zooooooooomed past in no more than 10 seconds. They were followed by the distinctive team cars with spare bikes on their roofs, and a selection of cyclists who (I'm told) aren't competing, but simply follow the tour for fun.
The whole thing was over in just a few minutes and I think the crowd were stunned. The main event for which Londoners line the streets is the London marathon, and that goes on for hours on end. We weren't quite prepared for the speed of cycling, and standing so close to the start line certainly didn't help.
Oh well, I'll know to go further away next time!
Click here for more photos from Stage One.