Dear fellow members and friends
29 June 2005
Just a reminder that about the ride this Sunday. Full details in previous circular.
Sunday 3 July
Lewes – Isfield – Piltdown – Lewes – about 22 miles
Catch the 10.40 from Brighton Station at or meet a Lewes Station at 10.55. Trains back leave at 19 and 49 minutes past the hour.
And here is the first response to my appeal for reports – this one from Richard.
The London-Brighton BHF Ride 2005
I have been meaning to to the London-Brighton bike ride for quite a while but this year finally got organised to do it and I'm now kicking myself that I haven't done it before. I haven't got the official photo yet but as soon as I do I will forward it.
It started with getting the train to London with my bike on Saturday afternoon which went surprisingly smoothly, despite there being too many other bikes on the train the authorities thankfully turned a blind eye. It was then early to bed on Saturday night with a wake up call at 4.30 on Sunday morning, leaving home at 5.30 to be at Clapham Common at 6.00. The inevitable delay occurred with the sheer numbers involved which meant that we didn't get away until just after 7.00 and then it was all systems go. The pace was very fast with the field spreading out as we made our way out of London.
The camaradie and support throughout the day was absolutely incredible, as was the support from spectators along the way, particularly those with water pistols to keep us cool. There were numerous refreshment stops along the way which were most welcome, although I only stopped off at three.
There was, unfortunatley, a certain lunatic fringe, going as fast as possible without concern for themselves or other cyclists and I saw at least 3 serious accidents where the ambulance crews were pulling cyclists out from under cars or out of hedges or just off the road – a very sobering experience!
The killer, of course, was Ditchling Beacon. We could see the Downs looming in the far distance and get bigger and bigger as we approached. It made Turner's Hill seem a complete doddle. I was determined to bike it all the way and am pleased that I did so, although I did stop at the top to catch the view and a breath. The downhill coast to the coast was then well deserved and most enjoyable. The welcome at Maderia Drive was incredible and I was greeted by friends from Brighton and London to a champagne reception on the beach.
Thanks to everyone I have been able to raise more than £500 for the British Heart Foundation which makes it so worthwhile. The whole day was a most incredible and enjoyable experience. Although something of an endurance test I will certainly consider doing it again next year.
My thanks to you all for your support.