London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
andy753
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London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby andy753 » 13 Jul 2013, 1:03pm

Hello everyone, we are doing the London to Brighton bike ride on Sunday the 8th of September 2013 - http://www.bike4cancer.org/london-to-brighton-bike-ride

I took part in one of the British Heart Foundation rides a few years ago and it was a nightmare getting home again on the train - the local train company (South West Trains I think) refused to let any more than about 10 bikes on each train. As a result, thousands of cyclists were left stranded in Brighton with no way of getting home.

Does anyone know what the policies are for putting bikes on trains these days? Do you have to put your bike in those tiny bike sections next to one of the loos? As I remember, each train can only hold about four bikes!!!! I just wondered if we were allowed to stand in the doorways with bikes - assuming the train isn't too full with standing passengers. All advice greatly received.

Thanks in advance for your help.

andymiller
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby andymiller » 13 Jul 2013, 1:36pm

I think your best bet is to contact the ride organizers. I think the BHF now organize return transport and I would have thought other organisations would do the same thing.

Wesh-Laurence
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby Wesh-Laurence » 15 Jul 2013, 3:40pm

The train operating company on the London to Brighton railway line is Southern Railways.

http://www.southernrailway.com/

For the BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride in June they ban bikes on their trains because they only have about 3 spaces for bikes on each of their 3/4 carriage unit trains. They may apply a temporary ban on other days if they think there will be far too many people trying to put bikes on their trains.

You should contact Southern railways to find out if you can put bikes on their trains on the 8th of September.

As you point out Southwest Trains are really poor when it comes to transporting bikes on their trains.

Strictly speaking the number of bikes allowed on each train is restricted to 3/4 bikes on each train but in practice it is up to the discretion of the train conductor whether they allow more bikes on the train.

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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jul 2013, 9:11pm

When I did London to Brighton, we always had someone drive a van for us. A couple of years we got the company I worked for to provide the van & driver. The other years, we hired one and someone's partner drove it for us.
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horizon
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby horizon » 15 Jul 2013, 11:27pm

andy753 wrote:it was a nightmare getting home again on the train - the local train company (South West Trains I think) refused to let any more than about 10 bikes on each train. As a result, thousands of cyclists were left stranded in Brighton



andy753: are you seriously suggesting that SWT should have allowed them all on the train? :D

with no way of getting home.


No? And how about how they actually got to Brighton? If it's too far to go back in one day, then book a B&B.

Seriously Andy ....
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

AndyBSG
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby AndyBSG » 16 Jul 2013, 8:57am

Andy, i'm doing the same ride and can confirm that getting home by train with a bike is pretty much impossible because they will only allow a certain number of bikes each train.

Although you're doing the ride for Bike4cancer, the actual group who organise the ride are http://www.londonbrightoncycle.co.uk and you should get an info pack from them, if you haven't you can E-mail them at info@skylineevents.co.uk or call them on 020 7424 5533

In the information pack there are details on a coach service you can book your return to london on.

I don't have the info pack with me at work but if you get no joy I can get the details tonight when I get home.

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horizon
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby horizon » 16 Jul 2013, 9:57am

AndyBSG wrote:
In the information pack there are details on a coach service you can book your return to London on.



That's obviously a sensible solution. It would be interesting to know how they do this and where the bikes are stored.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

andy753
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby andy753 » 17 Jul 2013, 7:19am

Thank you to everyone for your advice. OK, here's a wee update!

There are buses/vans laid on for people who need transport back from Brighton after the ride - the cost is £30 per person/bike. Apparently bubble wrap is provided to help protect your bike whilst it is in the van!

We have decided to stay overnight and ride back the next day. That way, we can have a few ales afterwards and not worry.

SO, two more questions!

(1) We'd like to take a different route back to Clapham. Are there any must see villages / detours that we should consider? Sorry, I don't know Sussex very well.
(2) Does anyone know a good B&B in Brighton with overnight storage for 10 bikes!

Many thanks all!

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horizon
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby horizon » 17 Jul 2013, 3:23pm

andy: on our last tandem trip from Brighton we took the A281 as far as Horsham which was a surprisingly nice route. Thereafter it's maybe Newdigate etc. Or go east through Haywards Heath. I think it's a great idea to cycle back after a night on the town in Brighton!
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

AndyBSG
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby AndyBSG » 6 Sep 2013, 11:11am

Is anyone else doing this on Sunday?

AndyBSG
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Re: London to Brighton Bike Ride - Help!

Postby AndyBSG » 9 Sep 2013, 4:33pm

Managed to complete my first ever L2B on Sunday in a reasonable 4 hours and 6 minutes.

Have to say I feel surprisingly fine this morning with only a few aches and pains and I credit my liberal but smelly application of Deep Heat with that.

I suspect I could have got closer to 3.45 but I was held up by the crowds on Ditchling Beacon and also had delays due to a freezing fog about an hour after setting off that meant I had to keep stopping to wipe my condensation covered glassess off.

Made it half way up the Beacon before I was forced to dismount due to someone falling over in front of me... Although I don't think I would have lasted much longer anyway.

Quite demoralising though because some guy who was nothing to do with the L2B and was clearly just doing some training went up and down the Beacon three times while I was trying to get up it.

Managed to hit 42.3MPH on the way down before I bottled it and started dabbing on the brakes :)