Last Saturday four brave men (Ale, Mo, Daniele and myself) set out to ride to Brighton and come back on the same day, following this route. It is basically following the BHF London to Brighton route down, and another route we found online via Devil’s Dyke on the way back.
The expected distance was 173 km from Earlsfield in SW London, but as everyone knows, when you ride with me and my Garmin 510, you are bound to get lost several times and thus make the ride significantly longer… I wish I could afford a Garmin 1000 with maps, but direction cues will have to do for now.
We did start well, a part from some minor mechanical problems with new bicycles, but eventually took a wrong turn somewhere around Reigate and had to cut through Salfords to avoid passing on the motorway near Gatwick Airport. From there it went almost smoothly until Ditchling Beacon (a part from a couple of wrong turns that required backtracking a few hundred meters…). Good performance by all members with new PB on Strava (I personally was slowed down by a horse transport trailer…), and then smooth freewheeling down to Brighton where we dropped Daniele who preferred to sunbath on the beach….
The climb up Devil’s Dyke was less hard than expected, especially because the really step bit was not Dyke Road proper, but the less scary (at least by the name) Tongdean Lane…. After a cheesy selfy at the top, we cruised down heading for some well deserved food.
Unfortunately those 20 km to the pub seemed like an eternity to those three really hungry guys… but eventually we made it there and enjoyed our light lunch and shandy at the Eight Bells in Bolney. Stopping for lunch after Devil’s Dyke was a good idea, since those chips were pretty having to digest when we got back on the saddle.
From there on, the ride seemed never ending, with sore necks, shoulders, hands and bums. The Surrey Hills also don’t help when you are trying to get back home after 150 km on the bike. A coffee would probably have helped, but we just pulled through and finally we made it back to Earlsfield, and with an amazing 187 km on my Garmin (Mo did 197 km since he came down from Battersea) and about 2100 m ascent, making it the first “100 miles” ride for Mo and myself. That was quite an achievement for a first “official” ride!