Well the big day is over and we’re recovering, but the important bit is that we finished it! Not only was the ride itself still a challenge, add the heat of yesterday it made it a mountain to climb to say the least. Speaking of mountains, a few people added an additional challenge that I had to cycle up Ditchling Beacon to unlock some extra support. Well as we approached it from the north, I did think what have I got myself into? Well despite the mammoth amount of walkers (we’ll call them the sensible ones), and the other riders trying to dodge the people in front of them, then add my chain coming off ¾ of the way up, I did manage to fix it, and find a gap in the ‘traffic’ and make it to the top. I will be honest and say I was a little tearful at the summit! But I did it!
Prior to this, I think I had only done about 30 minutes of exercise in the warm weather, so this seemed bonkers! It probably was! But the crowd, residents along the way, countless children and the organisers were amazing. Here are a few snaps and detail along the way:
We had to leave my friend’s flat at 0615, but here we were at that start line at about 0710 waiting for our allocated start time of 0730. It was about a 7.4 mile cycle to the start, but amazing to see so many cyclists whizzing around, and so few cars in London.
Just to prove how warm it was, this was when we stopped at Lindfield Common at around 1130 for a much needed rest, ‘comfort’ stop and a refuelling! Thanks to the local Scout group for organising the stop, and very reasonably priced refreshments. No doubt more charity funds raised and a much appreciated service.
Unfortunately there was a hold up North of Ditchling Beacon as there had been an accident on Coldean Lane in Brighton, so they closed the road to allow for ambulances to make it through and to hold the riders back, so we were stuck for about half an hour in the biggest queue of bikes and cyclists I have ever seen, but everyone is in good spirits and talking to complete strangers. But before long we were allowed to start approaching the real challenge on the ride, or the last real challenge I should say. Feeling a bit hot and sweaty at this stage was an understatement and there was little shade for any of us now either!
Amazingly, and I don’t know how I kept going, but I think some of the credit goes to a certain Mr Brown and his additional fundraising promise if I made it, but I did cycle up the beacon! It is an amazing view from up there! I probably didn’t appreciate it fully, as I was scoffing jelly babies and guzzling water at this stage, but I did get this snap before I found Ross and Simon.
I don’t think it is entirely true when they were saying it was all done hill for the final 6 miles, but honestly, after that climb it felt like it. Here we are at the finish, before we went and found a very welcome couple of pints at Concorde 2 on the beach!
Lastly, thank you if you have already supported us, everyone’s generosity was overwhelming, but if you were waiting for us or me to prove we could do it, please see below (hint, hint).
Thank you again, as we couldn’t do it without the support and it means that in the shadow of yesterday, the three of us have achieved something really worthwhile, not only a mammoth physical task and you know who you are, who said it was virtually downhill all the way to Brighton from London, except the Beacon, we’ll be having words later ;-), but it has remained to be a fantastic achievement for a really important charity too, so thank you.
Until the next crazy idea, over and out!