Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bike ride from Brighton to Ditchling Beacon, Plumpton & Lewes

So this was my third big bike ride as part of my training for Brighton to Paris, which I'm doing to raise funds for Brighton-based charity AudioActive. 

We started out on the Lewes Road at the fantastically named Vogue Gyratory then cycled up through Hollingbury (killer), up to Five Ways and onwards up Ditchling Road to the top where the golf course is (also killer). 

We then cycled over the A27 towards Ditchling Beacon, the biggest nemesis I have yet to encounter IN MY LIFE. My cycle ride wasn't helped by the fact that I was hungover (I wasn't alone), wearing inappropriate clothing and in terms of cycling, fairly unfit (apart from running marathons but that doesn't count). 

Needless to say, this expedition to a Sussex high point did not feel like a high point to me (at the time); however, now that I've put in so much work into a 3/4 hour ride, I am feeling a lot more fit for purpose when facing minor hills around Brighton - that is, apart from my main street home, Elm Grove, which I struggle to even get a third of the way up.

However, I was saved greatly by Lucozade, Skittles, Airwaves, water, a borrowed scarf, a stop off at a fab pub with great local Sussex fare (I tried the deep fried pigs ears !?), beautiful lush scenery and good company. 

The cycle from Lewes to Brighton wasn't as flat or as smooth as I'd expected, but after everything, it wasn't the worst uphill journey I'd faced that day. I have to say, the real killer for me was actually the terrifying, death defying journey down Ditchling Beacon. It was like being strapped into a horrific rollercoaster that stuck to no health and safety. While my group went freefall down the steepest incline known to man, I was trying to brake at every curve, to no avail. 

So on that note, here are a few pics from our bike ride. Unfortunately, no brilliant scenic shots, mainly due to me nearly having an asthma attack everytime we paused for water, but as I've been dubbed the Group Photographer for the trip, you can expect a continued photo blog right through our Sussex training, to the start of our epic ride and right at the end, when we arrive in Paris. And then again, when we have to cycle from Newhaven to Brighton. 

All and any donations warmly welcome to help me reach my £300 target: https://www.charitiestrust.org/members_data/event/amy-s-big-cycle-from-brighton-to-paris/index.html

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