Bright and early, well maybe not bright!, our support team was up at 3.30am to start the logistics of getting Team TrueSwift to London for the start of the British Heart Foundation, London to Brighton cycle ride. The logistics had started the previous day as we needed to get all the people and bikes reasonably close for an early start on the Sunday. After we had all loaded our bikes on Sunday and had our porridge, it was off to London and join the throngs of other riders.
We had a start time of 7.00am so at 6.30 we were shepherded into our start time area ready to be released onto the roads at 7.00am sharp. Even though many riders had a very early start the atmosphere was fantastic and we were all eager to get started.
We set off at a good pace and decided we did not need to stop at the first stop which was at about the 10 mile mark and continued instead for about 15 miles before having a short break. Our second stop was just over 25 miles into the ride and we had taken about 2 ½ hours to get this far. This had included a couple of hills but we all knew the dreaded Ditchling Beacon was still waiting for us.
We looked at the map and saw that we had Turners Hill to climb, but the map showed a steady downhill following this. We therefore decided not to stop at the top of Turners Hill but to push on to Ardingly Show Ground. Oh how cruel that map was as there were several small hills following Turners, and not the decline that was suggested by the route map. Our legs were already beginning to burn so we really needed the next stop. More chocolate bars and bananas and we were ready to go again. This time the road was pretty level but with Ditchling Beacon looming we knew we would need a further stop just before the big climb. We aimed to stop at the last stop before Ditchling Beacon which turned out to be part of someone’s garden in Ditchling village. This was a really pleasant location and with plastic chairs, tea and cakes plus the sun deciding to come out, we really did not want to continue!
After an extended break we finally decided to continue. All of us were beginning to suffer muscle tightness and build up of lactic acid so we agreed that we would all take our own time up the hill and probably walk it. So we set off riding with the intention to walk, but we all had the determination and rode the hill. After just over a mile of steep slog we waited for each other to regroup and ride together as a team into Brighton. One of the team was about to fall off the bike being dizzy from the excursion up the hill so we waited a few minutes before the final leg to the finish line. We all arrived safely around 2pm to finally get off the bikes, and have a well-earned drink and some lunch.
After lunch is was the journey back home. Although we were all tired, spirits were high and even talk of doing it again next year! The last person was home by about 8pm so a very long day for all. More food, a hot bath and bed was the order of the night.
Donations can still be accepted until 15th September 2014, so please dig deep and support us at the following address: