Cyclists of all standards love riding the London 2 Brighton bike ride. As well as being perhaps the UK’s best-known charity ride, it’s a challenging fun sportive in its own right – a celebration of cycling, all the way from the capital to the coast.
And more fool you if you think it’s going to be easy: If your training rides have yet to pass 35 miles, trust me, you’ll be pushed on this one.
Now with the preparation over, the team T-shirts in a box in your hallway and some nerves creeping in, here’s 5 tips to help you on your way on the day.
(Don’t forget a camera and some cash, the pictures will be priceless and you’ll want a pint and a pile of chips at the end)
1.Break it down
There are distinct sections to the ride. So break it down based on your fitness and you’ll be prepared for each as it arrives – use the elevation information below to help you. A simple split for a fun ride would be:
Stage 1: Leaving London (0-9 miles) – flat and fun
Stage 2: Climbing to Coopers Hill (9-21 miles) – long slow climbs with a tough finish
Stage 3: Downhill and flat before traditional rest on Turners Hill (21-31 miles)
Stage 4: Fast over Selsfield then slow to Ditchling (31- 45 miles)*
Stage 5: The approach and ascent of Ditchling Beacon, and fun ride to the finish.
* I always find this section the hardest – after the fast descent off Turners Hill fatigue creeps in and it drags on, so keep with your group and help each other along.
2.Look at the elevations
The best thing you can do before riding the London 2 Brighton is check out the hills and make a note of roughly when they’ll appear – click on the image for a more detailed picture.
3.Plan your fuel
Cycling for longer distances does strange things to your body. In a nutshell, you’ll reach a point where all the energy you had stored has gone. Past this, your legs will only push them pedals if there’s fuel in the tank.
On rides of less than a couple of hours you’ve reserves built up before you leave, mixed with the energy from snacks along the way.
On the London 2 Brighton you’ll reach a point where you need to be eating something small every half hour – because if you don’t, there’s no reserve tank anymore and you are guaranteed a frighteningly quick and ugly end to what should be one of the best rides of your life.
This post on how to choose an energy bar should help you select some handy snacks – top these off with Gummi Bears / Cola Bottles – whatever you fancy – for instant sugar fixes. Fluid intake* is equally vital so keep on top of this and always have fluid on the bike – even if it means stopping more than you want to.
*Adding fructose powder or apple juice to your water and a dash of salt will help energy and hydration.
4.Pack a waterproof
And not just for when it rains. The great thing about a waterproof is that it doubles as a windproof and a spare layer. It’s perfect for wearing when you’re waiting around at the start – which will happen – the first few miles as you warm up, slipping on before a descent and at the end to keep any chill at bay.
5.Enjoy the moment
It’s not a race. If you want to have a blast then either book a very early start and get to the front, or better still, ride it solo at another time.
Riding the London 2 Brighton is all about the moment, your charity, your friends and the community of people who love cycling.
If you’re a commuter dedicated to cycling as environmentally -friendly transport, it’s empowering to see so many people on the road. And if you are new to two wheels, it’s a real eye opener. Enjoy the moment – especially the final descent into Brighton!
For your next charity challenge why not try London to Paris or even Brighton to Paris?
Next month I’m riding a Carrera Virago from Brighton to Paris. It’s proving to be the best carbon road bike for less the £1,000 – but can you ride longer distances on its skinny race wheels?
We shall see…
My charity page here, please take a look and donate a little to a very unique cause.
Or follow me on @travelsportcopy for cycling updates and adventures.
For more cycling blogs and guides, check out: Italian Bike Tours: Powered by Pasta / Buying a road bike and living with it / 5 cycle safety tips for commuters /Carrera Virago Reviewed: Tech Specs/ Mountain Bike Nutrition: How to choose an energy bar
- Touring Bike vs Road Bike: Riding a Carrera Virago to Paris
- British Cycling: The Sunday Ride
- The Simple Pleasures of a Bike Ride
2 Comments to “Riding the London 2 Brighton Bike Ride: 5 Tips”
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