Yesterday, Sunday 19th June 2011, I completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride and raised £250 for the British Heart Foundation (my target was £200).
You can see the route on Endomondo, as I was using my phone to let my friends and family track my progress: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/qZO7bpWLi84
The day started early for me, as my start time was 9am. I actually wanted a 6am start, but it was not to be. Louise dropped me off at Clapham Common and I managed to find my way to the start line. There was lots going on, the atmosphere was great. There were all sorts of street performers wandering around keeping everyone in good spirits.
The first 10 miles were easy going, but slow. There was way too many riders to get any speed up, and we had to stop for the traffic lights. The route was lovely, lots of countryside to look at.
I stopped at the first official refreshment stop as I need to refuel and catch my breath. It was up a fairly long hill, and I was happy to have stayed on my bike the whole way. A banana and a ham roll was my reward, then back on the road.
It seemed to take forever, but I guess riding on your own will do that. There was a couple accidents on the way which seemed fairly bad. One lady was being stretchered away, I really hope she was ok. The route gets very steep and narrow in places, and even with plenty of warnings and marshalls around, plenty of riders were going way too fast and taking risks that I was not comfortable with.
I managed all the hills apart from the last one, Ditchlings Beacon. It was huge, and most riders were walking by that point. The die hards were showing what they were made off. The view from the top is amazing, I was really glad to get there, as it meant not long to go before I finish. The next few miles were harder than I expected, it was really windy and the road was wet from a shower. Just before we dropped down into Brighton we were held up again by another accident. It took a while to clear, but once we were going again we got some good speed as we came down the hill. I kept a sensible distance from riders in front of me and a safe speed, I didn’t want to come off like some one else had.
It took me 6 and a half hour to complete, not bad for my first attempt. I had a bad time slot really, as it was so congested. I really hope that next year I get an earlier slot so that I can do it in better time.
Some points for next year:
- Ride with someone you know.
- Get an earlier time spot.
- Bring a spare mobile (mine was tracking my progress, it failed 4 miles before the end and made finding Louise harder)
- Wear sun block, my arms are really burnt!
- Don’t worry so much about it, its great fun.
I really enjoyed the day, it was great riding with so many people all having a great day.