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London-Brighton Cycle Ride 2012

I'm cycling London -Brighton this year on June 17th for the first time,has anyone else done it before or doing it this year?


  • I've done it with my Dad and Brothers a few years ago
  • edited May 2012
    Not done the official BHF London to Brighton but my cycle club have followed the route twice recently.
    I'm cycling London to Paris this coming Saturday, 350 miles in 3.5 days.
  • Good luck Killer Kish. I have down it a couple of times but the last, two years ago, was an organisational disaster. The BHF allowed far too many riders to enter and the ride was absolute chaos. The volume was so great that we had to walk up every hill and we had to queue to do most of them. It added two hours onto my time - not best pleased. Also, the volume of riders leaping on their bikes in frustration at the top of hills lead to major crashes with dozens of injured riders which again stopped progress as paramedics and ambulances weaved their way through the crowds to attend the casualties. Hopefully they have sorted it out because it's a great event otherwise.
  • I did this event for 10 consecutive years, the key is to get an early start. We always applied for a 07.00 start which avoided the mid morning mayhem. As Cardianl Sin says, it can be hell with so many people trying to get up the hills and when they do finally get up its chaos all the way down.
    If you want a lay in and aim for a comfy mid morning start be prepared for crowds and chaos.

    Good luck
  • Did it last year, we had an 8.00 start and it was a nightmare getting out of Central London and into Brighton and the 2 big hills are a nightmare if they are packed and you fancy having a go at them.

    Nice ride for a laugh with your mates followed by a few beers in Brighton but if you are a serious cyclist (of which I am not) then there must be loads better routes.
  • Have done it twice. Once in 3.5 hours and once in 5.5 hours.

    Can only echo what others have said, if you have a late start, just accept its an all day thing and maybe even stop off for a few beers on the way down.
  • doing it this year, on the 7am start, hopefully it won't too painful, did it ages ago in about 4, would be aiming for under 5 hours this year
  • I did it about 10 years ago, it's the 1st and only time I've done something like that. Was roped into it at a boozy office Christmas party the year before. The sense if achievement at the end is all worth it though.

    Beware Ditchling Beacon! It's the last thing you want after cycling all that way, though coming down the other side is enjoyable!
  • I done it last year at night , 11pm start , bloody great ! once out of London the roads where empty , thoroughly enjoyed it , sadly didn't make it up ditchling beacon (2 thirds) , looking at doing another ride this year .
  • I will be doing it for the first time this year, not a serious cyclist so hopefully won't get too annoyed by how busy it is. Mate I'm doing it with managed to get up Ditchling Beacon so that will be my main aim.
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  • I have to say the thought of having to walk up some of the hills is the one sole reason I've never actually done the official L2B ride.

    Its bad enough on some of the organised sportives for the more serious amateur cyclists when a group of lets say occasional cyclists have to get off and walk up a gentle slope, forcing everyone behind them to get off and walk up too.

    Killer, what type of bike are you using? I'm hoping you're going to say a road bike or a hybrid. If you're going to use a MTB, seriously think about putting on some slick tyres, may cost you around £30 to do so but it'll make life a damn site easier for you.

  • I'm using my Rockhopper but bought road tyres a few weeks back, so much easier on the road, makes life interesting in the forest as well!
  • lock out the suspension would be my advice
  • I would also like to cycle to Brighton but hate the idea of doing the official one for reasons cited above. Southendaddick mentioned about loads of other ways to cycle there. Anyone got suggestions from Blackheath to Brighton?
  • I cycled it a few years back. There's a very big hill, Ditchling Beacon, just before Brighton. Before you go up it, there's a cafe just at the base of it. Stop and rest there before tackling it. I ate some sponge cake / sugary Carbohydrate and some fluid (not excessive fluid) and managed to cycle up the hill to the top. Then there's the reward of speeding down the hill on the other side.

    Be a bit wary of going into the sea after the ride as I did that the sudden cold water, caused my calf muscle to cramp, which was a bit painful. How football players do ice baths do it, I don't know. I am sure the physios know what they are doing.

    In the early stages of the ride it can be a bit slow due to the number of riders, but it does thin out the further along you go. You have to be a bit patient at points in the early stages. As mentioned above, advice on start time is well made.

  • edited May 2012
    I did it last year in 3 hours 45 mins. Also the Ditchling Beacon is even more massive than Wednesday and I had to walk the last bit. I did post some pictures on here ages ago but I can't find them now. I hope to do it in 3 hours-ish this year and my training is going well at the moment so I'll think I'll do it.

    I found it easy up until about 40 miles and I really had to slow down, so pace yourself and going up the Beacon was a nightmare. As for the 2 other hills mentioned they are quite easy if there is no one in your way/walking which I had the luxury of last year with my 6am start time. Plus try to get in a group of other cyclists to shelter from the wind as you will go much faster than you think and it'll take some of the strain off you as you won't have the wind holding you back.

    Anyway I'm doing it again this year and my start time is 6:30 am (very good as it won't be as crowded), so look out for a Charlton shirt that has Joseph No.7 on the back has I fly past you. ; )

    All I can say in advice is enjoy it and try your best, I know I will.
  • When we did Ditchling last year it was chucking it down, halestones the lot and there was an accident so had to let an ambulance past.

    I dont think I would have been able to do it anyway but that stopped it.

    Best bit was just after Turners Hill where you go under the M25, downhill for ages.
  • It's a great route to ride. Can't see the appeal of doing it with hundreds of others at the same time though. A nice way to do it is get the train to Caterham to miss out the crappiest roads and road users, then head south: lindfield, turners hill, Mormon temple, lingfield, haywards Heath, ditching, then into Brighton.

    It's about 42 miles, you get to do the climbs, then down the slope at the sea front for Guinness, fish and chips, tea and medals. No better afternoon.

    Only problem is if BR get silly about letting you put your bike on the train before 7pm for the journey home, which they have done in the past.
  • Obviously that doesn't work on BHF day, but on any of the other 364 days of the year, it's ace...
  • The guys at (cycling club affiliated to bigfoot bikes in Hayes) do an annual London to Brighton run. Unfortunately I missed it this year due to appendicitis, but here is a link to the info on their ride, including a map:

    I'm off to the Pyrenees for a week of cycling (Pau to Girona, along the mountains) week after next and haven't been able to do any training since mid April due to illness, so am going to suffer...
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  • Whitstable makes a nice alternative to Brighton, a little longer in distance and Canterbury is only a short ride away to get a train home...
  • Thanks for all the comments,it's certainly a worry reading some as I've been given a 9.30 start!!! JohnBoy I'm using a road bike
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