Another ride ticked off the cycling bucket list so to speak – this time London to Brighton Off-road (once again a charity ride to make the pain of the ride at least worth something…). Once again it all went off without a hitch, it turns out that despite my worries I had done just enough training to complete the ride easily, which was nice.
When I say without a hitch I’m of course missing out the time that I missed the directions and went off course for a few miles (I noticed when there was a distinct lack of tyre tracks on the route ahead, so turned round and doubled back – sure enough there was a hidden sign). And the last hill – up at least – was a complete swine, especially coming after the sixty five mile stage and was the only time I had to get off and push as I couldn’t get any traction on the back time, but it was less than half a mile so I’m pretty pleased with the result.
My average speed was okay, far better than last year’s jaunt around the Peak District, and looking at the Strava times I appeared to be firmly mid-table in terms of performance on the day (and there were some seriously fast times from the professionals). The bike proved perfect, comfy enough for a whole day in the saddle whilst light enough that I never felt as if I was carrying a load around. The route was a lot more forgiving for hardtails, being less about massively technical descents and more about fun. The final drop down into Brighton was great, fifteen minutes of descending (at a silly speed) more than made up for the pain of what was “That Bastard Hill”! getting a first glimpse of the sea was brilliant, the end finally felt in sight, even if the harbour conspired against me.
I’ll probably give it a break next year, still look at longer rides (I enjoy them) but nothing really organised. Riding with others is great fun, but I need to have a think about what other classic British rides I’d like to do (and whether some need a different kind of bike), but it was a great day – and the pint & pizza afterwards was very welcome.