Windmill Cycle Club Special Event
London to Brighton Off-road
Organiser: Andy Ross (and the British Heart Foundation)
Date: Saturday 22nd September, 2018
Ride Start: Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 5AQ
Event Website: British Heart Foundation
Take on the popular London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride, and see if you can conquer Europe's biggest charity mountain bike event.
Join the Windmillers this September for an exhilarating 100 mile challenge along varied terrain. Your physical endurance levels will be put to the test – but it's worth every bead of sweat.
Found on the bucket list of many a mountain bike enthusiast, this unique event packs all the best bits of off-road riding together into one jam-packed amazingly varied route that will provide you with a muddy adventure you'll never forget. We ride a significantly different route in the middle section, allowing for even more of an off-road challenge.
From steep forest inclines to tricky technical descents, rocky paths to adrenaline pumping single tracks - it's got it all.
The variation means there's something on offer for cyclists of all abilities. There's plenty of technical sections to delight the off-road professional - but at 100 miles, the event also presents an achievable challenge to those new to the sport, especially with the help of the training advice and support on the BHF event website.
Most importantly of all, by taking part in this challenge you'll be supporting and raising money for the life saving research of the BHF. So what are you waiting for?
Saturday 22nd September
British Heart Foundation's L2B is such a super day out, with varied terrain starting with urban riding out of London on the canals, through the North Downs, the South Downs and finishing at the coast.
However there is one major downside to the official route, the Downs Link - think disused railway line, no views, flat terrain, head down and just slog it out for over 25 miles! So instead when we got to that section last year, a group of us broke away from the masses, and followed a really nice bridleway alternative that was so much better, and then rejoined the crowds to take advantage of the final feed station, the last major hill and the big descent down to the official finish.
The plan for this year is to replicate last year's adventure, please come and join - yes it ends up being nearly 90 miles which to many might seem a tad much for a day, but based on prior years it is very doable for regular riders if we pace ourselves and keep refuelling.
A few pointers on logistics
- sign up well in advance on the BHF website (places are limited)
- we will get an early train Hitchin to KX, then cycle a few miles to Camden Road station for the overground to Richmond
- this gives a great entry point onto the canal, whereas the official start is south of Hampton Court and difficult to reach. We won't actually need to go to the official start point, we simply join the rest of the riders as they exit to the canal (and miss out on the queues!)
- when we get to the start of the Downs Link, people can choose whether they are up for the alternative bridleway route (longer and hillier, but so much better), or can stick to the official route if they prefer
- expect to finish the ride in Brighton around 7pm, then we'll go for a KFC feast before getting the train back to Hitchin (no restrictions on bikes unlike the BHF road version)
Come join us on what is sure to be a real highlight of the year
Join us on Facebook to see the route and all the latest details of the WCC BHF plan.
Additional Useful Info:
Service your bike, or at a minimum check that it has newish brake pads and the gears are fine. Fingers crossed for balmy sunshine, or at least not pouring rain – this trip will anyway go ahead regardless. Just check the weather forecast before heading off, and adjust your clothes accordingly
Bring some warmer clothes, and a spare layer/rain jacket to carry on the ride. Weather can quickly change there, and don't underestimate the potential for a cold wind on top of the hills. Given a lot of the riding is fairly remote, make sure you ride with enough water and snacks.
Must have spare bits for your bike:
Rear mech hanger (this tends to be unique to your bike, and can easily be damaged by a rock); chain link (hard to fix a broken chain without it); inner tubes; pump; if running tubeless tyre patch/stans fluid/CO2 inflator & cartridges.
Nice to have spare bits:
Extra set of brake pads, spare gear cable; oil lube; cycle energy gels are great for tired legs on long rides. They really can make the difference between finishing a ride or crashing out. Always have some spare with you. It would be good if someone can volunteer to bring first aid basics. Great if someone can bring a post ride tipple (John's toffee vodka went down a treat last time)
We've built up a great list of essential equipment through trial, error and experience out on the trails. Click here to visit out Essential Equipment page.