night ride

Its real.

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I knew our challenge was real as I experienced the ride last year. However when talking to another participant of this years ride yesterday they said they had received their pack, and mine had not yet arrived. As you can see mine came today. Again like last year the fact I will cycle from London to Brighton has really got home again.

The strange thing is I feel ready for the ride and knew it was coming. The sponsorship is getting there (£40 to go), the bike is a dream to ride and I feel good about attacking the route for a sub for hour time. It’s not until your pack arrives that it seems task and I don’t know why but it is.

I have to say the pack is a great improvement from last year. The map us in much more detail, taken from an OS map. It is the size if a map too which is good but lets face it you are unlikely to get lost just follow every other rider. Saying this we did take a wrong turn last year due to a marshall not being in the right place.

So now it’s time to put the finishing touches to my ride preparations. Time to get my gels from the local bike shop, get the bike serviced in the final week before event day and arrange two light rides for the final week. Also need to eat chicken with some pasta on the Friday and get some sleep Saturday afternoon. This I didn’t manage last year as it was so got on event day.

I now feel part of the team now my pack has arrived. It real. I am doing this and helping make a difference. I have been able to combine raising money for an excellent cause by completing an activity I really enjoy. I really am quite lucky to be able to have this opportunity. Sub for hours here we come. Fingers Crossed.

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Its real.

Posted on Updated on

image

I knew our challenge was real as I experienced the ride last year. However when talking to another participant of this years rife yesterday they said they had received their pack, and mine had not yet arrived. As you can see mine came today. Again like last year the fact I will cycle from London to Brighton has really got home again.

The strange thing is I feel ready for the ride and knew it was coming. The sponsorship is getting there (£40 to go), the bike is a dream to ride and I feel good about attacking the route for a sub for hour time. It’s not until your pack arrives that it seems task and I don’t know why but it is.

I have to say the pack is a great improvement from last year. The map us in much more detail, taken from an OS map. It is the size if a map too which is good but lets face it you are unlikely to get lost just follow every other rider. Saying this we did take a wrong turn last year due to a marshall not being in the right place.

So now it’s time to put the finishing touches to my ride preparations. Time to get my gels from the local bike shop, get the bike serviced in the final week before event day and arrange two light rides for the final week. Also need to eat chicken with some pasta on the Friday and get some sleep Saturday afternoon. This I didn’t manage last year as it was so got on event day.

I now feel part of the team now my pack has arrived. It real. I am doing this and helping make a difference. I have been able to combine raising money for an excellent cause by completing an activity I really enjoy. I really am quite lucky to be able to have this opportunity. Sub for hours here we come. Fingers Crossed.

I just can’t wait…

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For the Tour De France which has its grand depart at the end of June and for my own challenge if London to Brighton at night for the second year running.

Let’s start with my own challenge, London to Brighton. The distance isn’t a problem, 60 miles, it’s can we do it in sub four hours. This involves a moving average of 25kmph. Sounds straight forward enough, especially on a road bike which I an becoming very comfortable on. Stock up with water, gels and a Jaffa cake or two and as long as we don’t need to stop, the target is on. Even with the big hill, Devil’s Dike at about 48 miles the rest of the ride should allow time to be made up before we reach the climb. I know this as I know the route from last year and I know what shape I’m in with my new bike. Plus there is still four weeks left to lose a few more pounds (as he puts the lovely point of Adnams down). Monday will see the serious diet and proper food prep I tell myself. The training ride in the morning will help, as we are going a power hour. This is a short warm up then go hell for leather in one direction for 30 minutes, then turn as around and come back. The plan is to build the power and operating at a high tempo. On another point good luck to all doing the day ride tomorrow. Your doing a great job well done. I can’t wait for my chance to see if I can achieve my goal of sub for hours, as I know I’ll be raising some money for The British Heart Foundation to find a cure for heart failure. You can show your support by sponsoring me a few pounds, Dollars, Euros or whatever your currency is here. Thank you your help is really appreciated.

As I complete my challenge the greatest cycle race will be two weeks old as the Rogers prepare for the final week. Hopefully Chris Froome will be in yellow and with the support of Team Sky will hold off any final attacks from the likes of Contador et al and we can have another British winner of Le Tour. With a bit of good fortune, which you need in cycling, winning The Tour Dr France could be like waiting for a bus. You wait for ages then two come along at once! Come on Froomy make your great form count now! Last year they said the course was perfect for Wiggins, well I said when this course was announced it was suited to Froome. Only time will tell but I hope he does the business.

I know there are many others who are just waiting for the Tour to start. At least we age nearly there. Let’s cross everything and hope for a great double, sub four hours for me (& reaching my target) and a second British winner of The Tour de France.

What to wear on a night ride?

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This week I’ve been asked by a friend what should be worn on the London to Brighton night ride in July. Also how cold does it get?

Last year the ride was in May on that hot weekend, yes the one we had, the lowest temperature was 18 degrees C if I remember. However part of this ride you body is battling against lack of sleep and this is a factor, therefore 18 degrees can feel like 10-12.

Due to the weather I wore shorts (lycra obviously) and my jersey with my jacket in a back pack/rucksack. At 4am when the sun comes up its a little chilly in the Surrey/Sussex countryside. I remember a cold mist/fog on some of the rolling countryside, it really was a beautiful scene. As we know its also colder in the countryside than urban areas, especially if there is little or no cloud cover. All these will impact on your body and potential to ride.

A jacket is a must, tights optional depending upon the weather & personal choice as is a back pack/rucksack. There are plenty of jackets on the market which fold away into a pouch which reduces the need for a rucksack and you could use leg & arm warmers to keep the limbs comfortable. I used my jacket between the second and third rest stop around dawn just to keep the chill off before the sun worked its magic for a glorious summers day.

One way to find out is to include a training ride in similar conditions. Going for a 4am ride when you are cold will provide some vital experience for anyone who is completing their first night ride. You will get to find out how good your kit is before event day. I suppose a training ride in the rain better be a good idea too! For now let’s not combine the two!

Last year I researched the blogs and experiences of those who completed the Manchester to Blackpool night ride in September 2010. They all had jackets but it was September in the north west. It could well have been raining.

For this year I’m going with the following weather depending:
Base layer
Jersey (not sure which one yet)
Bib shorts (prevents a gap between shorts & jersey)
Jacket (in pouch)
Gels in jersey pockets
Two water bottles on bike (can be topped up en route)
Gloves
Lights
Security lock

Plus something I didn’t have last year a saddle bag. This is ideal for your pump, spare tube, multi tool & depending upon size & how secure its fixed keys, wallet & small first aid kit. This should then reduce the need for a rucksack, but let’s see.

Experience helps. Last year I took on too much sugar and not enough water, resulting in cramp in the calf. Whilst Haribo and Jaffa cakes are very useful water is a key ingredient too. Less sports drinks, instead water and gels (if I can find some which actually taste nice). Suncream! Not just for the beach afterwards, if the weather is good, the sun can be strong in July and the back of your neck can be exposed. Sunburn hurts.

I hope this has been useful to anyone completing their first (or second) night ride. You can show your support at my fundraising page. See you in the saddle soon.