My London to Brighton experience

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TheNissanMan
Posts: 57
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 10:49am

My London to Brighton experience

Postby TheNissanMan » 18 Jun 2018, 8:43am

So it’s the morning after the day before and fist of all have to thank everyone on this forum for the help leading up to the L2B.

As mentioned on my previous posts, I’m not fit, I get very anxious over new things and this year have only logged 199 miles on the bike including yesterday’s 54.6 mile.

For anybody in a similar position or considering a challenge after yesterday the best advice I have from yesterday is get a decent set of bib shorts and a measured saddle. The only bit of me not hurting after yesterday is my backside which I didn’t expect to be the case. After a trip to the Specialized shop in Newbury I spent £60 Ona Specialized Avatar which made all the difference and some Endurance Xtract shorts.

Two days before the race I started drinking more water than normal to keep the body topped up and on the day regular small sips of water, there’s plenty of stops along the way to keep water bottles full. I had three on the bike to start which in reality wasn’t needed as there was never an empty bottle...

Following advice on here I had a variety of energy in a small pannier, I didn’t stop long enough at the rest stops for a burger knew if I stopped i would get going again lol, again regular small nibbles and didn’t feel hungry once, I was surprised that I couldn’t eat a thing after the event although a bit peckish this morning.

The event itself was great, I started at 8:30 and although doing the ride on my own was talking to guys ild been talking to on Facebook the days before by chance who were in the same boat, arriving at the event it was daunting as there is some serious machinery and some serious bikes all waiting to head off, there are also some seriously unfit peeps who were as nervous as me which made it a lot better.

The first 8 miles lull you into a false sense of ease as coming out of the common in the drizzle it’s mostly down hill where with good tyres on the bike very little pedalling is required to keep up with the bulk of the group, I was one of the first of the 8;30 lot of the gates with the faster guys getting away quickly, me pooling at my own pace. One of the good things having done all training rides on my own was that I know what my pace was and as mentioned on here before didn’t want to start to quickly.

The first hills were ok as rather than hills they were long in lines which kept going, it’s amazing how much of the course was uphill for a beginner. The other hills, my best advice if your not confident cycling up them, walk, there is no shame in it and makes sure you have enough energy to get to the end, after all it is a marathon not a sprint. Best hill advice from yesterday don’t get too dismayed when you see the beacon for the first time, you come around the corner this mountain appears from nowhere, it is very steep, it doesn’t end, it is painful. I had to stop numerous times just walking up it to take 5, have a drink and go again... you do feel great when you get to the top!

From the top of the beacon it’s plain sailing, it was very windy yesterday so even on the flat at the top it still felt like you were cycling uphill but once your got to the top of the beacon your energy levels seem to rise and it doesn’t matter and you’ve got a long drop where if you have the bottle you can get some serious speeds up, I bottled it and was riding the brakes so sitting at approx 27mph.

The most painful bits for me were the 20-26 mile section where I was tired and wanted to quit, once your through mile 30 you know your getting close and the families in the villages with their tables our cheering you along help massively. And the worst part the final mile and a half, I seemed to pick up every light going through Brighton which meant regular stops and with the amount of walking had killed my cleats so clipping in was difficult, unclipping almost impossible. When you get onto the final section into the finish line energy levels pop straight back up and one big push to the finish line.

Although I know I am seriously unfit I feel I’ve accomplished something, and I’ve got the medal to prove it lol.

6 hours and 6minutes including the mile I rode to the start line and a massage booked later this morning, would I do it again, maybe, bout would want to do a lot more training first!

https://www.relive.cc/view/1645061077

thirdcrank
Posts: 26208
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Jun 2018, 9:28am

Well done for getting fit enough to ride this event, well done for listening to the all advice, and thanks for the detailed report. :D

Keep it up! It's very easy to let it all slip and then back to square one. And for your next target, ditch the fags.

TheNissanMan
Posts: 57
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 10:49am

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby TheNissanMan » 18 Jun 2018, 9:30am

I know the fags have to go at some point but after 27 years not easy (I know, excuses)...

I’ll have. Couple of days to recover and be back on the bike although need some new cleats as killed mine yesterday. It was still tough and could not believe the beacon, to people cycling all the way up I take my hat off to you, I was that out of breath walking up it was difficult to encourage people still peddLing...

thirdcrank
Posts: 26208
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Jun 2018, 9:56am

I've never smoked but I don't underestimate the problems of giving up. If you want to ride up hills rather than walking up out of breath, there's only one thing that will achieve that (and save you the money for all the new bikes you could ever need.) This might just be the right time to make the sort of determined effort you have made getting into shape these last few weeks, but with a different goal. Your choice, of course, but there's not much point agonising over the choice between flapjacks and energy bars.

slowster
Posts: 137
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby slowster » 18 Jun 2018, 3:35pm

Congratulations.

Don't stop cycling. Whether it's just going out for a casual pootle or building up the miles for more events like the L2B, keep doing it, and make sure you keep enjoying it. There are probably plenty of roads locally which you haven't yet explored, and you might enjoy riding on the odd bridleway too. You've got the rest of the summer and autumn to enjoy riding in warmer weather, and probably get even fitter without even consciously trying to do so.

Since you mentioned in your first post about stopping cycling last winter, give a little bit of thought in the next couple of months about what might help keep you riding next winter, so that you can start making plans You will probably be a bit fitter and used to more regular riding by winter, which will help. You might prefer to do much shorter rides in the winter, just to keep your fitness ticking over until spring.

Ideally you really want mudguards in the winter, but I don't know if there are any really suitable for a front suspension fork like on your bike (obviously you can post a new thread if you want to ask about that).

It's very possible that you will lose some weight by winter if you keep riding, so it might be best not to be too hasty about buying any winter cycling clothes. Moreover, even though you are wearing bib shorts at the moment, in winter you might prefer not to wear the very close fitting cold weather kit designed for road cyclists. I often wear walking type clothes in winter, including walking boots with ordinary flat pedals and a Goretex jacket or similar.

TheNissanMan
Posts: 57
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 10:49am

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby TheNissanMan » 18 Jun 2018, 8:28pm

I definitely won’t be stopping cycling, a couple of days down as a tad sore but will be out on the bike before the end of the week, will get some new cleats and keep going.

I cycle as I enjoy it, going out in the wet and the cold isn’t something I would do by choice so think the bike will be going away over winter until spring where will pick up again, may try find a time where the turbo doesn’t interfere with downstairs lol.

nigelnightmare
Posts: 335
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby nigelnightmare » 17 Jul 2018, 8:55pm

Well done!
The beacon can be a bit daunting at first, but it does get easier. :wink:

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mjr
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Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
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Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby mjr » 17 Jul 2018, 10:01pm

TheNissanMan wrote:I cycle as I enjoy it, going out in the wet and the cold isn’t something I would do by choice so think the bike will be going away over winter until spring where will pick up again, may try find a time where the turbo doesn’t interfere with downstairs lol.

Buy waterproofs and thermals and spiked tyres if you want to ride on ice. It's really quite a wonderland in winter ;) but then, I think turbos are strange.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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horizon
Posts: 8232
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: My London to Brighton experience

Postby horizon » 17 Jul 2018, 10:20pm

thirdcrank wrote:Well done for getting fit enough to ride this event, well done for listening to the all advice, and thanks for the detailed report. :D

Keep it up! It's very easy to let it all slip and then back to square one. And for your next target, ditch the fags.


+1. I missed this thread and since then I've been away. Just before going away we had the excitement of the LEJOG record attempt. That was great but somehow I found TheNissanMan's ride more interesting - or at least the contrast between the two was fascinating. Both riders were pushing their limits and dealing with them - both riders compare well IMV :D. And yes, the detailed reporting was excellent (in both cases actually).
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.