Bike Events 2000
London to Brighton, 18th June 2000
This was a ride that I've always wanted to do as it is the public cycling event in Britain.
We set off as early as possible but even then there were so many riders that it was very slow going for the first 10 miles. As soon as there was the slightest incline, everyone had to dismount and push their bikes until it was clear again.
Clapham Common at 07:00 -
A 10-seater flashes by -
Once we got south of the M25 however, we picked up the pace and soon got to Turners Hill. Most of the roads were closed to cars so it was great fun steaming down the wrong side of the road. It was one of the hottest June days on record but we didn't really notice it until we stopped. The isotonic drinks were coming into their own by this stage, and there were plenty of kids standing outside their houses with water pistols helping to cool the cyclists off. I was really impressed with the organisation of this ride - there were hundreds of marshals and police ensuring that everything went smoothly.
Taking a breather at Turners Hill in the 35°C heat (it was cooler on the bike than off) -
Eventually we got to the dreaded Ditchling Beacon, a mother of a hill on the edge of the South Downs. It certainly lived up to it's reputation and many people were struggling to walk up it in the heat, never mind ride. I got about 2/3rds of the way up and walked the rest (perhaps next time!). One of our fellow cyclists, not only made it to the top, but became famous in the process :o)
There was a lovely breeze at the top and we enjoyed a great sprint down into Brighton, being cheered on by the large crowd at the finishing line including the girls who had spent the day on the beach. We dumped our bikes and took the plunge into the freezing sea. A memorable day.
London to Brighton Ride Statistics
Entrants: 27,000 official + 10,000 unofficial (est)
Distance: 58 miles
Our Riding Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
Our Elapsed Time: 5 hrs 10 mins
London to Oxford, 25th June 2000
One week later and it was off to Oxford. This was my fourth year doing this ride and it's still a favourite because it passes so close to home and we're very familiar with the route. The number of entrants was disappointingly low this year, probably because it was so soon after the Brighton ride.
Steve, Chris, Me, and Nick at the start (Richmond Green)-
Just before the start, Nick "Arsestrong" decided to clear a path to the front for us by letting rip with the previous evenings curry. Unfortunately it backfired and here he can be seen using his scummaging skills once again to realign the rear wheel :o)
Half way and it's the Burnham Beeches tea shop for a bacon roll and cuppa. We had to get our strength back for the climb up to Christmas Common ahead. We also gave poor old Ian "slide-tackled" Ross a progress update on the mobile. He couldn't talk for long though as was too engrossed in round 8 of the ladies amateur golf tournament on BBC1 -
Enjoying a well-earned rest at Oxpen Meadows (Oxford) -
Four cone-heads bothering a fellow slap-head at Oxpen Meadows -
London to Oxford Ride Statistics
Entrants: 1,100 official + 200 unofficial (est)
Distance: 59.8 miles
Our Riding Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
Our Elapsed Time: 5 hrs 55 mins
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