London to Brighton first time

sigorman85
sigorman85 Posts: 2,536
edited February 2013 in Road general
I'm doing the London to Brighton ride this year with my dad as its the last time he will do it.it's my first time doing this ride I have asked him about it but would like to hear what you guys have to say about it.ie what times you got I no it's not a race but you no how it is :-) also hills and any other relevant info I need to no would be nice I'm fairly fit and have All the kit I think. :-s

Cheers guys

Si
When i die I just hope the wife doesn't sell my stuff for what I told her I paid for it other wise someone will be getting a mega deal!!!


De rosa superking 888 di2

Comments

  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,142
    I presume you mean the BHF organised one?

    I've done the day and the night versions and didn't enjoy either of them. Far too many people in too little space mean you're riding at a snails pace for most of the way.

    A big chunk of the route through London is on non closed roads with buses/cars cutting in front of riders trying to get past. There were lane closures on the main road down into Brighton which were being ignored by cars and not being enforced.
    I was looking forward to riding up Ditchling Beacon, but couldn't because everyone in front was walking up and there was no space to get past.

    Some of the marshals went AWOL on the night ride so about 100 of us went the wrong way. Some of the descents were very badly potholed with little forward visibility due to the sheer number of riders.

    I did the day one in about 5.5 hours on a hardtail MTB with slick tyres, the night ride about the same on a road bike.

    There's some official food/drink stops on the way so you don't have to carry much in the way of refreshments but they do get very busy. There's also some unofficial stops set up by locals as well as pubs, shops, cafes etc. in any towns you go through.

    I didn't have any mechanical issues on the route, but take the usual stuff like innertubes. On the night ride we came across one rider abuot 30 miles from the end who had a puncture but didn't have any tubes or a pump, (and refused our offer of a tube and use of a pump :roll: )

    I'm glad I've done both rides and ticked them off but I don't have any plans to do them again.
  • A KIRK
    A KIRK Posts: 64
    If doing the day one make sure you start as early as possible either 6 or 6.30 am or your get stuck with everyone else.

    Last time I did it we did it in 4 hours on mountain bikes, and up ditchling you need to shout at the walkers to get out the way, most will try to walk up the left but you do get a few idiots.
    2010 GT Series 4 ultegra wheels & brakes
    2008 Claud Butler hard tail not very original any more
  • Have done it a few times, not my thing really, but dragged in as a replacement when someone has cried off.
    Treat it as a social occasion, any hill means you end up walking because it is so crowded.
    Must add if it is a sunny day some of the scantily dressed young ladies are a delight :D
    On that note did see a girl come off her bike going down the Brighton side of the Beacon......Did lose a lot of skin as she was going at a rate of knots.

    Oh Yes..... Be aware that a lot of the riders aren't used to riding in a group so keep your wits about you.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    How long does it take your dad? Does he race it or more of a social thing?
    Whats your cycling level?

    As above, if you want to cycle it leave early. If you want a social thing, leave early and stop (at pubs?) a lot.
    The initial London hold ups are the most painful imo.
    As you are young this will probably not effect you, but do some training if you do not cycle much. Ditchling Beacon has claimed about 7 lives (I think) on the BHF ride, probably older people who have not trained.

    I have always just ridden it straight, but would love to do it as a pub crawl (sensible drinking of course) with a few mates, and soak up the atmosphere.
    Its not as good as it used to be imo, but a must do ride too.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Used to do the double on our mtbs with slicks a few years back. Makes the whole logistics much easier if you start from near Brighton. The only downside was that its impossible to do an early start.

    As others have said. It is painfully slow, impossible to progress up any hill due to the walkers. An enjoyable day if you just want to relax and take it all in. Forget achieving any sort of personal best, it can take 3 hours just to get out of London.

    I personally prefer their MTB rides, much less congested. The off road london to brighton (which works out about 70-75 miles) was much more enjoyable, fantastic route, very scenic. As is the Randonee (Southdownsway 100), but that is not really a fun-ride.

    you'll enjoy it, start as early as you can and just take it easy.
  • sigorman85
    sigorman85 Posts: 2,536
    So go there early then!
    My dad said he done ditchling hill in 7.58 ??? Any good ? He couldn't remember the time for the whole ride.he dosent race but he goes out on Sunday club rides religiously Im
    Quite fit I think. I do 4o miles in 2.35 ish depending on weather lol
    And why did the bloke refuse help and not want the tube and pump strange!
    When i die I just hope the wife doesn't sell my stuff for what I told her I paid for it other wise someone will be getting a mega deal!!!


    De rosa superking 888 di2
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Me and a friend did it as a practice for our L2P24 last year.

    We did it in 4.45 in pouring rain the whole way and we got lost a little. that included all our stops and rests too so not bad. Will be going again this year, but not in a charity event, far too many people in that for me.

    Its great fun though.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    edited February 2013
    As others have said, start it early, otherwise you'll have loads of buggars, in front of you. Not good. And no, it's not a race. Ditchling is not much really, not one of the steepest hills.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    It's one of those things that everyone ought to have a go at, then not bother with again. Like everyone's said, far too many riders of too many abilities squeezed into some narrow roads, and it takes the edge off things a bit with all the walking, and shouting 'coming through stay left', esp up Ditchling. There's a good sense of fun & camaraderie though so it's worth doing, once. Don't expect to set any records if you don't go off in the first waves. Much beyond a 7:30 start and you're at walking pace for too long in too many places.
  • sigorman85
    sigorman85 Posts: 2,536
    I'm looking forward to the "hill" and that's about it oh and the finish lol is it one of those where you take the winter bike of the Sunday Italian stallion ?
    When i die I just hope the wife doesn't sell my stuff for what I told her I paid for it other wise someone will be getting a mega deal!!!


    De rosa superking 888 di2
  • A KIRK
    A KIRK Posts: 64
    Oh another thing don't go to fast down the hit, after ditchling as the stupid marshals start running out I front of you telling you to slow down, and then look confused when you almost pile into them doing 40 mph plus.

    I might do it again this year, but this time on the road bike, however ill start as early as possible, then maybe ride back home after, instead of doing our usual of leaving a car in Brighton the night before.
    2010 GT Series 4 ultegra wheels & brakes
    2008 Claud Butler hard tail not very original any more
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Depends on the weather and how quick you want to do it I guess.
    How are you getting back?
    Don't take a good bike if you are getting the official transport home lol.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    sigorman85 wrote:
    I'm looking forward to the "hill" and that's about it oh and the finish lol is it one of those where you take the winter bike of the Sunday Italian stallion ?
    BMX would be fine its only 50 odd miles ;)
  • Well, this thread has put me off ever doing the official London to Brighton... it sounds like a bit of a nightmare unless you want to walk there.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    It's not so bad once you get the first handful of miles out of the way but the first country lane off the main road is also a small climb and for most people it's too much so becomes a big bottleneck - think motorway shockwave where everything bunches up suddenly for some minor obstruction. Then multiply that for the next few climbs up to and including DB. Between the hills though it's not so bad and can be a lot of fun if you hook up with a few quicker riders.

    Everyone should have a go at it once, as long as you recognise that you won't get a clear run unless you're away with the first waves at 6 or 6:30.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    One thing I would say is the start and finish of mots BHF rides now are normally teaming with thieves looking to pinch your bike. At both the Randonee and the Off-road L2B, there were many reports of bikes going missing. I guess the chance to walk off with a couple of grands worth of bike is too tempting. So either don't let your bike out of site (preferably touch) or take a small cable lock.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Good point diy :wink:
    I would have stopped at not leaving bike at all though. A cable lock might give a false sense of security as any thieves there would probably come prepared.
    Just find another cyclist you feel you can trust (with an equally expensive bike in case he is tempted to 'swap' lol) and look after each others bike while you have a wee in Brighton.