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London to Brighton - 4th June 2010

"Oh, I'm sure it'll be ok. People do it in about 4 hours; I've done more than that offroad!", Charlie understated confidently.

7hrs 30mins later, in the dark and in more pain than I've experienced for a long time, I arrive in Brighton (Hove actually!) I set off from London at 3pm on a fine, sunny day. A great ride through London and down south to the country. It didn't help that I needed the gps on my phone, which was strapped to the handlebars. So not only did I have to cycle fairly quickly through the rougher parts of South London but I still managed to get lost and have to take alternative routes. Having said that, I couldn't have done it without GPS. All the roads look the same!

Oh, how the other half live. It was like cycling through another world on the Surrey/Sussex country roads. Big houses, big cars and lots of horses. Nevertheless, the whole experience was a little disappointing. I had hoped for some beautiful views, some wildlife and a chance to look out over Brighton from the South Downs. However, regardless of the steep climbs, there weren't any spectacular views and even though my legs were burning (and had been for about 3hrs) I didn't get to go up the Downs, the route taking me, instead, around the edge and through Clayton.

All in all, a good route if done with a group. I'd expect the British Heart Foundation ride (which I can't make :-( ) would be a fantastic event but don't try it alone, with a mountain bike. Sometimes we all need a bit of cheering on! A great feeling of achievement at the end. Felt much better after Mum's cooking and a hot bath :-)

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A puncture early on did slow me down... but not by 3.5 hours!!