What a day, after weeks of stressing about stops, whether people would actually turn up, organising lunch, sorting the route, laminating maps, trying to get in some long rides on my bmx and gaining sponsorship… I can happily say we were totally psyched on the way the day turned out. It was an incredible vibe and all the encouragement everyone gave each other and looked out for one another along the way was amazing.
Out of 32 starters we had 17 BMXers, which is a great turn out. The pre 10am start soon turned into a 10.30 set off as someone *cough*(Bernie) forgot to set his alarm!
The first 10 miles or so were predictably hard work with the London traffic and numerous traffic lights making it a slow start but it was some sight watching a bunch of BMX bandits tear up the streets of south London. We had the BMXrs hopping up and down curbs, the roadies tucking in, the tandem getting some funny looks and even a brompton
A wrong turn and thigh burning hill later we made it to the next stop where we met up with the support vehicles to take on water, energy gels, sweets, sachets, shakes… you name it!
The next 10 miles kicked off to a good start with Eye of the Tiger blaring out of both the Monster truck and Jays van keeping us all motivated… (not sure the locals full appreciated it mind..) The last hill before lunch was a bit of a killer, but the thought of food and beer at The Crown kept everyone going!
After pasta, a roll and a belly full of Monster energy drink (Or 2 pints of larger in Leeroy’s case – but then he was on the back of the tandem so didn’t have to do much!) we set of for Brighton once again, this time with the thought of Ditchling Beacon looming over us…
Most of us seemed to get into a good pace for quite a while as the route was pretty straight forward and managed to crank out a good few miles. After a while we stopped on the roadside for a regroup before setting of for the third stop, but as we approached it we were all feeling pretty good and carried on till the foot of the mountain!
Again another regroup, watering and feeding by our support vehicles we set up for the monster hill…and boy it was a monster I thought my pedals we going to through the sole of my Vans towards the end!
It was definitely the hardest part of the ride and I know a few people had to stop and/or walk for the steepest bits but after many pats on backs, some nearly throwing up (Dayson), some unable to get up after sitting down, enjoying the view and a great group photo, we all headed off down the other side with big smiles and the sea in our sights knowing victory was just a couple of miles away.
Craig Schofield and I waited for a bit at the next junction for Sid Salisbury for a while and after a few non-answered phone calls we decided to head to the finish only find Sid already there – typical. The last hill into Brighton was an amazingly fast one with a few people even setting of the speed camera!!
The feeling when the pier came into sight was second to none and an uncontrollable smile and sense of genuine achievement came over me. I can honestly say it the most challenging event I’ve ever done on my BMX and I’m proud of everyone who took part. What a day….
We are still waiting for sponsorship money to come in so we don’t have a final total as yet, but as soon as we know we’ll post it on here. Big thanks to everyone who rode and raised money, thanks to the 3 support vehicles that helped out along the way. Thanks to Tom & Adam at Monster to the support vehicle and drinks, Phil at The Crown for lunch, Martin at Fisher Outdoor Leisure for the inner tubes and Maxim energy, Brixton Cycles for the use of the toilet before the start and anyone else I have forgotten.
MASSIVE shout out to the riders:, Merryn Phillips, Martin Murray, Terry Green, Gunner, Kelly Suckling, Dan Dolan, Jonathan West, Matt Briddon, Matt Freer, James Waller, Rikki Gunner, Matt Allen, Scott Edgworth, Leeroy Martin, Ben Hall, Julian Allen, Andy Lee, Sid Salisbury, Stu Dixon, Olly Kan, Freddie Kan, Jack Cooper, Dan Powell, Bernie, Craig Schofield, John Stockwell, Maddox, Greg Teague, Adam Dayson, Nick Hill, Louis Francis, Alan El-Charkowi.
And the Support: Jay Aliano, Dave Gunner, Ollys Dad, Olivia Lancey, Steph Hancock, Cherry, Christina.
Same time next year!?