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Done it again!

26th October - Posted in News

London to Brighton Cycle -  Sunday 19th June 2011

Memories from the day

The 54 mile London to Brighton cycle ride is the flagship fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation and the most iconic charity ride in the UK. Each year around £4 million is raised by the participants.

Five people took part in our annual BHF fundraiser this year, and we were successful in getting our preferred start times. This meant leaving Rushden by 04:00 to be at Clapham Common by 05:45 latest.

All week the weather had been indifferent all over the country, but the forecast for Sunday was better (if you could believe it!) – mainly dry with the chance of occasional showers!

A bright dawn broke as we drove to London and we arrived just after 6am and although it was dry, there was a definite chill in the air as we waited for our start time with the rest of the 28,000 entrants. Unusually there was little delay on the starting gates this year and we were away just about 06:50, a little late, but still well before the late risers. We made our way through south London along with the other early starters and the Saturday night revelers still making their drunken way home.

Again there were the usual mix of serious riders going against the clock, fancy dress riders, tandems, uni-cycles, roller-bladers, old, young, club & works teams and the regular entry from the Post Office with their team on old steel Post Office bikes, complete with front basket and a team of police mountain bikes with their black & white chequered livery.

We decided on high-viz. orange sports shirts so that we could easily spot each other in the crowd and this worked admirably. Then just to raise a smile we added red & white “jester” hats for the run-in to the finish line.

With the early start we encountered few hold-ups so Iain & Charlie decided to push on and had a really clear run and finished around 11:40, Iain taking some delight in phoning me to say they’d finished. We, in the meantime were just about to tackle the infamous “Green Monster”.

The length of the climb is 1.6km with a vertical rise of 134m and a maximum gradient of 16.1% (1in 6) – and all this after almost 50 miles already done!Luke, Paul & I, completed the course without incident or accident and rode into Brighton at 13:15 – not bad considering that despite all good intentions, I had done no training whatsoever.

Sadly some entrants (luckily not us) were unable to finish because of mechanical breakdown or road accidents, our progress was slowed on a number of occasions to allow ambulances through or the road width was restricted around an ambulance with a cyclist lying in the road enshrouded in a blanket. Hopefully none of these injuries were too serious.

With this number of cyclists traveling in close proximity, accidents are almost inevitable and entrants must be ever vigilant. We’ve done the easy bit, now comes the hard bit – getting everyone to part with their hard earned cash. Unfortunately haven’t raised quite as much as we hoped, due to a few unfulfilled pledges but there is still time if you want to contribute!

We still managed to increase our overall fundraising total to £36,150 raised for the BHF & Guide dogs for the Blind since 1999.

We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors for their continued support!