The London to Brighton Bike Ride gives participants the chance to face a bersonal challenge as well as turning pedal power into funding for life-saving research.
“We set off at 9.00am and cycled out of London via Tooting amongst many other places before hitting the countryside. With so many cyclist’s on the road (I understand there 27,000 throughout the day) the going was tough as we not only had to negotiate steep hills, but we had to find our way past loads of ‘where’s wally’ impersonators as well as male ballerina’s and other groups of ill dressed but utterly determined peddlers.
Stopping regularly at the roadside service points to take on water and copious amounts of flap jacks to keep up our energy we made steady progress until reaching the next incline that seemed to instantly sort out those of us who could and those of us who would have liked to pedal uphill at the same rate as we did going down one.
With ever increasing confidence as the miles passed by we didn’t realise that the closer we got to our destination the more punishing the challenge we be. A strange silence engulfed the throng as we neared Ditchling Beacon and for those that had tried to climb it before the very least they could have done was to give us novices some idea as to what we were about to endure.
Despite steely determination, we did try to get up the hill as far as we could, gravity seemed to be puling us back in the direction from which we had come. So, along with what seemed like hundreds of others around us, we resorted to pushing our mode of transport to the top of the summit where we were met with the most stunning views over the surrounding countryside and we watched in envy as those who were clearly both madder and a lot fitter than us passed by without appearing to even have broken stride let alone sweat.
Having taken in the views and convinced ourselves that we could smell the sea air, we were reliably informed that we only had 7 miles to go to the finishing line and most of those would be downhill, so once again we set off with renewed vigour and swept down to the edge of Brighton where we were met by applauding pedestrians and cursing motorists.
With the finish in sight the crowds had gathered to both encourage us over the line and strangely at this point it might have been easy to think that given a short break and a quick pint I might have done it all over again, but after a quick reality check and a look on the faces of those who were also suffering, as I was soon to be, I have decided next year’s application form might just go missing!”
If you would like to congratulate Stephen and Gemma on their sucess by donating to the British Heart Foundation please click here.