London to Brighton

It was slightly grey when I left Notting Hill to cycle over to the start of the BHF London to Brighton cycle ride at Clapham Common yesterday morning for my scheduled start time of 9am. All went smoothly with the travel over and I arrived in good time.

The start of the ride was straightforward, albeit somewhat congested, and the early miles were somewhat frustrated by the need to navigate our way en masse through the traffic of South London. The hill climbs during the early part of the route were also congested as a result of the number of people who were pushing their bikes up the hills. The last time I did this ride, we had a start time of around 7am and, whilst this meant a much earlier start to the day, we set off at a good pace and maintained this for the whole of the ride.

The above being said, it was still a good day out and it was really well organised on the day. There were plenty of official fuel stops and also several other stops en route where cakes, bacon sandwiches and drinks could be bought to replenish the energy levels. The back up in terms of marshals and medical teams was also impressive. I have to admire the organisers for their efforts and attention to detail.

The route is relatively straightforward and there are relatively few really challenging parts. The highlight is Ditchling Beacon which is at about mile 47 (of the 54) and involves quite a steep climb. However, the reward of the climb is that you get a 6 or 7 mile downhill run into Brighton and the finish-line.

It was good to see the range of age groups participating on the day and the participants were generally in high spirits, with good banter and recognition of the wide range of things that motivated people to join in.

After stripping out the stopped time for congestion and for a time when the route was “stopped” for medical crew to attend to some of the participants after an incident, I completed the route in about 3 hours 15 minutes.

All in all, a good day out.

View of Ditchling Beacon on the approach

View of Ditchling Beacon on the approach

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