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31 January, 2014 07:49PM
Hi Steve,

You may be too late to book for this years BHF ride, since the places fill up very quickly.

I've done the ride about 18 times over the last 30 years. It starts at Clapham Common in South London. The first rest stop is about 10 miles out, and then there is a rest stop about every 5 miles (each rest stop has toilets, free water, and various refreshments).

There are bookable time slots for leaving Clapham Common (usually every half hour starting at either 6 am or 6:30 am. I would recommend getting as early a time slot as possible: if you start later then you keep catching up all the slower people who stated earlier - it can get so clogged up that you can't ride up some of the hills because of all the folk walking up.

In my experience (your mileage may differ) I can cycle about three times as far in one day as the length of my daily cycle ride. So to handle the 55 mile London to Brighton ride you need to be regularly cycling 20 miles/day for five days/week. For the week before the actual ride, cycle this distance but at a leisurely pace. For the previous 4 weeks you could also do this distance but gradually push a bit harder to try and do the distance faster. Before that you just gradually build up your distance and/or effort. Don't try and start doing 20 miles/day with great effort - build up to it gradually over a period of 2 months or so.

For fluid I find that water is perfectly adequate, but it's up to you. You should have a water bottle mounted on your bike so you can have a drink while cycling; basically as soon as you feel even a little thirsty, have a drink. There are plenty of rest stops where you can refill the water bottle. How much water you need depends on your metabolism, how much effort you are making, and what the weather is like. On a cool day I've drunk as little as 2 litres en route, while on a very hot day I've drunk over 6 litres.

If I'm not feeling that fit then I stop every 10 or 15 miles. If I feeling fairly fit then I may only stop every 20 to 25 miles.

You need to experiment to find out what sort of speed you can maintain on a reasonably flat road for several hours (a cycle computer is helpful for this). The actual route has lots of ups and downs; down hill go as fast as you feel is safe and comfortable; up hill change down as many gears as necessary so that you can just pedal steadily up the hill without getting out of breath (I don't even stand on the pedals).

Make sure that your bike is in good condition beforehand, particularly make sure that you can change to any gear without problems. It makes life much easier if you anticipate the hills and change down just before the hill (with little or no pressure on the pedals). Trying to change down a few yards up a hill under pressure often results in a very noisy and slow change.

There is a steep short hill at about the halfway point, and a very steep long hill (Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs) at about the 50 mile point (up to 80% of cyclists walk this one); on this hill the key thing to remember is that the first 400 metres or so is actually about as steep as it gets (after this the gradient eases off a bit from time to time), so if you get up the first section then you can probably make it, provided that you have enough oomph left in your legs at this stage. I usually take the precaution of changing down to my 2nd or 3rd to bottom gear as I approach the start of this last hill.

Hope this helps, come back with further questions as you feel the need.

- Murray
Subject Author Posted

BHF London to Brighton 2014

Steve 31 January, 2014 12:14AM

Re: BHF London to Brighton 2014

Murray R Langton 31 January, 2014 07:49PM

Re: BHF London to Brighton 2014

Steve 31 January, 2014 10:31PM

Re: BHF London to Brighton 2014

Murray R Langton 01 February, 2014 01:08PM

Re: BHF London to Brighton 2014

Steve 01 February, 2014 02:14PM


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