It’s less than two weeks away, so if you haven’t cycled it before, here’s ten tips to help you on the London to Brighton bike ride, and a great vid from the organisers (tip 11 – book a Brighton Bed and Breakfast for Sunday night, you might just need it!)
1. Prepare: bit late if you are just getting started! Ideally you’ll be putting in a mixture of rides: longer weekend sessions to get you used to spending time on the bike, regular commutes to keep the legs ticking over, and hopefully some hill training to get your fitness up.
2. Check the map: Yes, the crowds will help you on your way, however you’ll be far better off if you have an idea of the scale of the challenge ahead.
3. Check the hills: There are four lung busters on the road to Brighton. Note when they start and you’ll be prepared mentally for the harder sections – and remember: there may be four big ‘uns but there are many other smaller uphill sections waiting for you.
4. Trial your clothing: Whatever you do, don’t wear a new pair of shorts, or an outfit you’ve never cycled in before – beware the dreaded chafe!
5. Prepare your bike: the absolute least you should do is make sure your tyres have enough air (A), your brakes work (B), and your chain is oiled (C). And make sure your gears are working – you are going to need them!
6. Prepare some food: Big breaky of oats or similar would be a great start, although you should plan to be munching along the way. Look for snacks with lots of carbohydrates but avoid the sticky bars – chocolate is lovely but it’s not the best energy source.
7. Get fluids ready: So important to keep hydrated, even if it’s overcast. Make sure you start with plenty and keep topping up along the way. After an hour of exercising, the body needs to replace lost salts and minerals. An easy way to do this is to add a little salt to your water and perhaps some natural sugars from a splash of apple juice.
8. Sort your team tactics: It’s not the Tour de France, but you should sort out what to do if you separate, and how you plan to ride he hills – together or meet at the top – it’s guaranteed to be busy.
9. Get ready for the Green Monster: Ditchling Beacon is the last hill before you head into Brighton, and it’s tough. Coming to Brighton for the weekend, you probably won’t have seen have seen it before. As you leave Ditchling Village get some water on, shove in the emergency sweeties or choccy (it’s instant energy and useful psychological support) and don’t stop at the bottom to prepare; if you’ve any chance of making it to the top, do it with warm legs.
10. Love every minute! It’s a fantastic ride, and for anyone new to cycling a really memorable challenge. On Sunday night every bed and breakfast in Brighton will be packed with tired cyclists, off to their slumbers after a couple of well deserved pints.Share on Facebook