Today was the London to brighton Charity Bike ride. 56 miles of 27,000 riders (Official entrants but a lot of extras). Unless you can get a start time before 7am- you have no chance of gettinf a clear run. We had a start time of 8AM and finally got away at 8.30. I was doing it with 3 other riders taht to say the least are Casual riders. One of them does take it a bit serious but he is not that fit this year. From 8.30 start- the firts thing you notice is that there are not many quality bikes. Very few road bikes and the majority are low end Mountain bikes- obviously new this year but you cannot tell the fitness of the riders. That is until the first slope. I would not even call them hills, but the pace of the wall of Bikes and bums in front of you slows down at every 1% gradient. Riding standards are diabolical to boot, and it is defensive riding all the way, and that is from the other riders. Then there are the Cars. Although the majority of the ride is on back lanes, The first 10 miles are in London. London drivers do not like bikes. Rest and fuel stops are numerous and it soon became obvious to me that the group I was with wanted to stop frequently. When we got to about the halfway point- I told the others that I would see them at the top of Ditchling beacon. The one hill on the route and it can be a basket. 1 mile long with most of it between 10 and 15%. My average up to this point was only around 9 mph but that 22 miles I covered on my own was done at 18MPH, and that included the Beacon. And what pleased me more was taht I did it on the new Road bike and 30/26 could have been a easier but I made it to the top, but when you see the picture of the top and see the crowds walking up the hill- It was made with some difficulty on avoiding the walkers and those that stopped immediatley in front of you.
The new bike works. No pains- a bit of a stiff neck but that can be cured and eben the saddle has only caused a bit of discomfort so a bit of tuning to do there.
Edit- attachments. The girl is nothing to do with us but she was riding the typical mountain bike-The 3 Lads are the ones I did the ride with, The start line(S) 6 start lines and this was only about 1/3 of the queues and only of 2 queues. First refreshment stop and you can see the numbers and the road shot was actually in a clear spot- You can see the 8 abreast in the background. Similarly the top Of Ditchling Beacon shows the congestion. I was looking for typical riders on this event as it is a Fun ride- I don't know what the two at the end in Hawaian dress are up to, or what they were on but lots of fancy dress and Lots of Fun.
Additional edit---- nearly forgot this. The ride was 56 miles long- I am 59- so rode out 5 miles to a decent cafe and 5 miles back so done my First metric on the New road bike and rode my age on Fathers Day