I did the London to Brighton off road ride today

dubcat
dubcat Posts: 743
edited June 2014 in MTB general
I did this ride today - felt a big sense of achievement. My knee started hurting at 20 miles. It just got worse and worse but I made it!

Here is my ride:

http://app.strava.com/runs/22800146

We got very lucky with the weather and conditions.
2010 Specialized Rockhopper
2012 Bianchi Infinito
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Comments

  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Me too.. Did it with a mate who hasn't been riding for a while.

    It was a lovely route, very scenic and it was nice to do a big ride that didn't leave you broken at the end. Managed to get 6 punctures though.

    I would describe it as more of the London to Brighton (avoiding roads where possible) as there was still a lot of on road riding. Certainly a very good ride for those looking to get in to Endurance riding.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    Wow 6 punctures? Five of us rode it. The only issue we had was one broken chain. The guy it happened to is uber fit, the others all were, and is very handy with bikes. We kept riding while he repaired his chain and caught us up.

    The other guy who was going to join us was not so lucky. He ended up riding with one of his friends. His friends suspension broke after 15 miles and so he quit the ride leaving him to ride alone. 30 miles in to the ride his seat post broke! He rode 15 miles standing up (!) before he found a bike shop and replaced it. Epic performance by him to complete it. I bet his ride was not so much fun.

    There was a rootey climb in a forest. Do you know where that was? I wouldn't have enjoyed that in the wet. It was one of the most scenic parts of the route and I would like to go back there but have no idea where it is.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • I did it too. Really enjoyed it.

    the rooty climb through the forest was on the North Downs at Winterfold. I almost considered dropping into Peaslake for a chees straw.

    Loved the route. Coming out of London was picturesque through Richmond Park and along the river, then the ND's, Downslink was a good opportunity to munch some miles without anything too technical and then Truleigh Hill at the end is a great climb and fun decent. Nothing nicer than being on the South Downs, looking at the sea and knowing it's pretty much a blast all the way in to Hove.

    Great weather too! :)
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    Two weeks after I bought my rockhopper I turned up to ride an organised bike ride with Evans. I had no idea how hard it would be. Consequently I just turned up on my own and i was rather unprepared for it. Luckily I made friends with Paul who let me tag along with his group. In all honesty I would not have finished that ride alone. Even if I had finished it I would not have enjoyed it and the likelihood is I would have lost interest in bikes before I even started.

    Yesterday I was meant to ride the London to Brighton ride with Paul. We ended up riding in two different groups though. Pauls ride was hell. His co-rider retired after only 15 miles so he had to ride the vast majority of this ride alone. Then his seat post broke and he had to ride standing up for 15 miles until he found a bike shop. He still managed to finish the ride in amazing time and so he was knackered but also euphoric at his achievement as he crossed the finish line.

    Paul racked up his bike and walked just a few metres away. When he turned around his bike was gone and no one saw anything. It is quite an unusual bike and I think it is only the second bike he has owned. It really is his pride and joy and I am gutted for him.

    I thought I would mention it on here and ask you to keep your eyes open for it. You can find the details of the bike at the following link. It is a BMC Speedfox SF01 2011.

    http://stolen-bikes.co.uk/stolen-bikes/bmc...dfox-sf01-2011/

    Cheers,
    Amir.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • That's f***** terrible. Tossers waiting at the end of a charity ride... FFS. I live near finish and will keep eyes peeled.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    That really sucks, its been a long time since I lived in Brighton, but clearly its still full of tea leaves. I was on the SDW 100 a few years back and spoke to a girl who had her bike pinched, while she'd unhooked it from her roof and went to the back of the car to get some stuff. One of the mechanics, went and opened his shop and gave her a demo bike for the day, which was really kind. The problem is you just don't expect people to be out nicking bikes at these events. But when you think about it, what better place to source a mid-high end bike. Perfect target.
  • Looks like a great ride, well done. I live on the Downs Link and rode it so much to build fitness that I could not stand riding it for a while. But this has inspired me to get back on it with some long distance riding rather then pure technical stuff!
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    Well done to those that did it. I bet you're glad the weather wasn't like Sunday.
    I'm really annoyed with myself as I was going to do it with some mates but due to their faffing I didn't get a place. I've done it before and it's always had places available on the day. Apparently with the name change to London to Brighton it got a lot more interest and was fully booked.It's a good ride, not too challenging.
    A colleague did it and told me they changed the route through Richmond Park so it took the road through the park and down Star and Garter hill. The old route went through the middle of the park and over Ham Common to the river which was a lot safer.
    Have registered interest for next year.
  • A buddy from work did this too, he was going along fine in a group, but had a fall after the big climb and hit a tree. He now has his arm in a sling, blood in his urine where he smashed his kidneys, a sore bottie from the saddle and several self-harm cuts on his arms from brambles. A good day out though he said :lol:
    Specialised Camber Comp 2011
    Boardman Comp Road 2011
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    I saw that guy, he looked pretty smashed up. The problem with that section of the trail is that there were riders bulking at tiny drops, while others wanted to jump them. it was a bit chaotic and very frustrating with people getting off to walk their bikes down and up the hills.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    We set if early and kept up a good pace so avoided most of this kind of stuff. I can imagine it was frustrating further back.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    We arrived late at the start as we had ridden to the start (another 14 miles) and I got my first puncture on the way. We then pushed on to get to the leaders, then got my 2nd puncture. pushed on to catch up and 3rd puncture etc.

    Even though most people were riding at a relaxed pace, if you keep taking 10-15 mins out to fix punctures, eventually you will get stuck in the middle of the group. That and waiting for my mate to catch up.

    We had intended to ride back to Surrey after, which I was up for, but my mate was pooped at the end.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    I thought about riding home to near Gatwick too... For a nano second :) I, like your friend, was well and truly pooped :)
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • diy wrote:
    I saw that guy, he looked pretty smashed up. The problem with that section of the trail is that there were riders bulking at tiny drops, while others wanted to jump them. it was a bit chaotic and very frustrating with people getting off to walk their bikes down and up the hills.

    Hope the guy is ok.

    I was one of the people riding the climbs and jumping the drops - but you have to remember that these sort of rides attract all levels of ability so ensured that everyone got plenty of room and that I was expecting the unexpected (not that I'm an expert rider by any means - just more aware of those who looked tentative!). It did get a little frustrating at times, as did people behind you (when you yourself are stuck in a line of traffic) bashing into your rear mech and trying to overtake you! But hey ho....it's a fun charity ride and not a competition, right? Even with Strava running....

    I saw one lady hammering it down the singletrack (I think it was somewhere around the north downs) with a shopping bag on her handlbar. It was a sandy descent and she seemed to be handling that section pretty well until she stacked it into a bush.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    I saw an older chap shifting it on his mountain bike, wearing a collared shirt with buttons! Made me feel like a right numpty in all my 'proper' mountain bike gear. Hat's off to him :)
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    Hmm, that all sounds a bit worrying. That's the problem with more people on the ride I guess. Hope the guy heals well. Last time I did the ride I saw a bloke trying to get his back wheel vaguely straight by bending it back in a steel gate as it had pringled when some twunt had ridden into the back of him in the North Downs.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    There was a bit of batching going on at the start, so it could easily be solved by letting people out in a few more 5-10 minute batches or simply asking people to gage their ability a choose a start time.

    As implied - this is not really a ride for "Serious" endurance riders. I'd say its probably on par with the SDW35, even though its twice the distance. For most of the time we were avg. about 15-18mph.

    I'm one of these people that won't train unless I have something to train for, so this was a ride I booked to keep me going after the SDW100 in July. Hence I didn't need to do anything extra, just carried on with my road bike training and normal MTB fun
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    I want to do SDW100 at some point but it is far beyond my capabilities right now :)
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    The SDW65 is an awesome achievement for anyone - if you start now you'll be fit in time for next years. Its roughly "half" the effort of the SDW100, because most of the big climbs are in the last 30 miles.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    SDW100 or nothing for me :) I'm going to train for it after the London Marathon. It should slot in alongside Ironman training (if I decide to really do that).

    Yes - this IS what a mid-life crisis looks like when you can not afford a Ferrari.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • He's basically OK yeah thanks, just a bit beaten up.

    I did the road L2B earlier in the year, absolutely caned the first 20miles out of London to try and clear some of the weekend warriors and generally didn't get too held up. Only twice did someone veer into my path, you'd think it's common sense to check your shoulder before changing direction...but not always.

    Start time is everything though, 10-15minutes is a long way to make up on a bike, even if you're a lot faster. Hoping that next year I can have a better start time, although passing people and slowly catching groups ahead was a nice motivation/slipstream opportunity.
    Specialised Camber Comp 2011
    Boardman Comp Road 2011
  • A few colleagues have registered an interest in this for next year and are trying to rope me in. I don't have an MTB though and was wondering about doing it on my Specialized Tricross which is fine off road in general, but isn't going to be great with technical stuff. Is that feasible? Would I be OK to walk tricky sections? Did you see anyone using cyclo-x bikes this year?

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 743
    There were definitely a couple of people that I saw that were doing it on cyclo cross bikes and I think you would have to walk very little of it if the conditions are as they were for us this year. If it got muddy I am not sure as I have no experience with cyclo cross bikes but I suspect you will still not have any issues.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • Mccraque
    Mccraque Posts: 819
    Would be fine with perhaps the exception of two sections - the climb through Winterfold being the main stuggle.

    Other than that - probably quicker than a MTB!
  • Thanks chaps. I'll probably give it a go then. Although, I'll have to select my tyres carefully if it's looking likely to be muddy.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • bloghog
    bloghog Posts: 40
    I did it a few years ago, had a snapped chain just outside the M25, fixed it and made it to the finish, fearsome climb towards the end if I remember.

    Having finished the ride I went to get in the van to get home and turned my ankle over walking off the curb! Not gnarly :D
  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Would be fine with perhaps the exception of two sections - the climb through Winterfold being the main stuggle.

    That'd be absolutely fine, I'd not worry.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Nothing here for you Njee - move along ;)

    Its very much a beginner to intermediate (fitness) ride. With nothing technical what so ever. Unless you find opening gates hard.
  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Nah I realise that, just meant it'd be fine on Winterfold on a cross bike, rode mine up there a few times.
  • ajoten
    ajoten Posts: 321
    Bump!

    After having 4x SPD fails on non-tech Chiltern bridleways on Saturday (luckily cushioned by huge banks of nettles), I am suddenly a bit wary of this supposedly "easy" route - me and my mate were planning on following it sometime this year. Reckon I need a large margin for error, literally: how wide do the tracks tend to be? I want it to be a long slog but also look around me and enjoy the scenery etc.
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