London To Brighton Off Road

On the 23rd September 5 dedicated members conquered the London to Brighton off road ride. Approx 61 miles if various terrain. The riders were David, Bill, Tracy, Trevor K, Jackie T. Massive thank you to Bill, Trevor and Tracy who had gone down to Brighton day before to prepare transport back for us all.

The day started with my alarm going off at 4am. A time once known for stumbling home after a night out rather than waking up for a bike ride. Fuelled up and bike in the car .  I made my way to collect Jackie and get to the start point where we met the others who were also cold and sleepy.

There was no waiting around this year and literally we started straight away. Albeit we had to wait doe Trevor K who was not fast enough to start and for stuck waiting for the second batch to leave. The start was rather gentle with a mix of cycle paths, bridleways, single track and some road usage. There was one steep climb which we had all taken off our jackets before as the day had gotten a little warmer once the sun had risen.

After the climb was a lovely technical downhill section with a drop off that caught me off guard but I handled with ease still. At the bottom and still alive we enjoyed our first rest area where Tracy needed to get some TLC on her bike done. We all enjoyed a reasonably expensive bacon bag, flapjack and hot drink before heading off for some more climbing and riding until we reached the downs link. A path that I absolutely hated last time as it was just lots and lots of pedalling. Fortunately having done it before he was able to manage his expectations and once we got to the 3rd coffee stop it was  Bill this time that looked absolutely broken not myself. The coffee stop is the best of the route (albeit I jage never actually finished a coffee here) where I decided to get a coke from a glass bottle as last year i regretted not getting this.

We were already to start the final section of the ride and were just leaving when Bill realised he had a puncture. It was not hard to say why as he was dragging around thr largest thorn known to man with him. No wonder he found the downs link so tiring!! 20 minutes later and myself knocking over someone’s drink (I did offer to buy a new one but he politely asked me to go away – disclaimer I would have done the same thing at this point of the ride if someone did the same so I left him in peace) we were on our way

This bit of the ride is the hardest but my favourite. Yes you have the insane climb which only Tracey and Trevor rode the whole way but once up the top the views are absolutely stunning and you really start to appreciate what you have accomplished. The rest of the trip is downhill and on road until you get cheered on at the end to collect your medal and enjoy a delicious burger and ginger beer. Now only Bill had not chosen to park the cars 16 minutes uphill.

I have tried to summarise as much as possible and am not overly familiar with all the route. All I can say is that there is something for everyone and good fun had throughout the day. Everyone was free to go at their own pace and we all waited for each other and supported when necessary. A fantastic day and I look forward to doing it again next year

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