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Sunday, 16 August 2009

BHF London To Brighton Bike ride 2009

We did it!!!

On the day I woke EARLY and waited for Dave and his family to arrive to take us to the start-line at Clapham common. We were driven to Clapham common and we started off towards to the start line ,when Dave was called back to sort out his car that wouldn't start. Thankfully the car was sorted as this was our way back from Brighton lol.

Anway we waited a short while to get through the Start and on our way............

We set off through London, I didn't recognize anything as I'm not familiar with this side of the river. However the roads were quite packed as the ride hadn't had a chance to thin out yet.

We rode along and had a few stops to refill out water bottles and to see to calls of nature. At almost all the hills required having to queue to get up the hill and had to walk the bike up which was rather disappointing.

How many hard hills, I'd say just two that I can remember ...Turners Hill....not too bad but not a breeze either...was going to have a rest at the top but again the place was heaving and we decided to carry on to the next pit stop where it was quieter....and of course Ditchling Beacon I only managed about half way up before giving in, but Dave managed it all the way to the top...Well Done!! :)

From the top of the Beacon was a quick downhill into Brighton I managed about 29 MPH down the beacon. We rode along Maderia Drive to the finish line and to collect our medals and meet our family and friends there to meet us. It was a great achievement and all for a worth while cause.
We spent a while in Brighton having fish and chips and a much needed beer or two.
Thanks to everyone's sponsors and support and a special thank you to dace wifes for the ferrying us to and from......

View from top of Ditchling Beacon

The only bad points to mention were the over subscribed ride (27,000) which meant having to queue for the hills that was a grind and a few peoples level of riding, I saw a few accidents where people had stopped suddenly on a downhill stretch with high speed cyclists coming up from behind ..ouch!! These were only a minor points to a very memorable and pleasant day.

We were then taken home , very happy but knackered.

Cycle Chat Ride....Tower Bridge to Southend 15th August 2009

This was my first ride with Cycle chat and I wasn't disappointed. I left home and made my way to Tower Bridge for 0900 hours and after a while of searching I found the group. After a coffee we set off down down The commercial Road and made our way down to Canning town and along the Barking Road through East Ham and into Barking.

We then made our way through Dagenham and onto Rainham where we were to have our first break for refreshments. Just before the Rainham marshes the leader and another ride were involved in a collision that resulted in a couple of bruised and cut riders.
Inspecting the damage to the bike

However Topcat1 had damaged his wheel beyond repair and had to walk to the cafe as the rest went on to meet him there. One of the riders rode back with another's wheel so he could ride on to meet us. Along the path to the cafe we skirted along the Thames path where we saw the concrete Thames Barges used during WW2 and a diver made from iron and a peregrine falcon swooping over the Thames.

Sig got her husband to drive over to the cafe so Topcat1 could be driven to Decathlon Lakeside to buy a new wheel so we could continue our journey to Southend. After a hour or so we were of again travelling through Tilbury, Chadwell St Mary ,Linford, Mucking and out onto the five Bells Roundabout and into Basildon and Pitsea.

We then made our way across the very busy Sandler's Farm roundabout and up through Benfleet. This time I managed to get up Bread and Cheese Hill which I was very pleased about :)

From there it was along the A13 and into Leigh On Sea and down onto Southend Sea front for Chips and beer before the train ride home....65 miles for the day :)