London to Brighton preparation

As some of you will know, I'm taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride on Sunday 20th June, one year earlier than planned.

As I only found out I was taking part last Friday, I haven't got long to plan for it. OK, it's not a completely daunting task but it is my longest ride yet, by far. I want to make sure I'm prepared. I have a fuelling strategy from my triathlete colleague and now have SPDs and slicks to help me.

Although my bike is running well in most gears, I'm not totally happy with doing the ride with it not being perfect. After phoning several local bike shops I found one that can look at the bike before the weekend. Result.

My day will start at 4.30am with the ride starting at 8am. I have compiled a list of things to take on the day. Any feedback welcome.

London to Brighton Checklist

Heart rate monitor
Heart rate strap
Starting Pack
Puncture repair patches (in pump)
Tyre levers
Sun cream
Hand wipes
Drinks bottle x 2
Hydration bladder (filled)
Energy sweets
Energy gels x 3
Energy bars x 4
Energy drinks x 4
Recovery drink x 1
Sun glasses
Waterproof jacket
High-viz jacket
Saddle Pack
SPD Shoes
Spare socks
Emergency charger
Car charger (to charge the phone on the way)
AA Batteries

For those of you interested in the route, I've plotted it on

If anyone wants to track my progress on the day they can courtesy of Google Latitude.

Just a final note about sponsorship. The ride is in aid of the British Heart Foundation. A charity devoted to the biggest killer in the UK - heart disease. My dad died from heart disease at the age of 55 so this ride is important to me. Please dig deep and sponsor me if you can at


  1. Best of luck Toby on the big ride. I don't know your weather or the route conditions so I take my suggestions below that that in mind.

    But in total your load sounds a bit heavy. I suggest you get rid of something to lighten the load a little. Here are a few thoughts...

    If you ride with the phone off and only turn it on when you need it, could you ditch the chargers?

    Can your hi viz jacket also provide wind / wet protection and let you bring only one jacket. Or can you wear a hi viz reflective sash or vest and carry only the rain jacket.

    Is the route on roads the whole way, will there be convenience stores where you could stop for juice or energy snack? Do the ride organizers provide any food at rest stops? If so maybe carry a little cash and cut your food rations in half, plan to buy some along the way.

    I'd add a little cash, credit card or ATM card, and personal identification to your list even if you don't plan to stop at any stores along the way. Always good to have in an emergency.

    The lock can be very heavy. If riding with a friend or small group that plan to stay together, one of you can usually stay within eyesight of the bikes and avoid this weight as well. But you may need it at the end and again I'm unfamiliar with local conditions or your local threat of theft.

    Stay safe and have fun. I look forward to reading about it after the ride.


  2. Thanks for the suggestions Mike.

    The phone will be plotting my route and will also be used as sat nav to get to the start point. The car charger will stay in the car. The emergency charger is tiny and runs off AA batteries so I will only take a couple.

    The high viz is just a vest so folds up nice ans small. The rain jacket might not be needed as the weather looks like it'll be dry.

    The route is all on road and there will be regular rest/refreshment stops. The energy drinks are powders to mix with water to keep weight down.

    The lock is a very small lightweight combination lock to be used if only absolutely necessary.

    I will have a trial fit tonight to check the weight etc.

  3. I forgot to mention earlier, it's good you include "Bike" on the check list. I do know one rider who drove a considerable distance to the start of a ride only to discover on arrival that he'd left the bike in the garage back home!!

    Have a great ride!!

  4. I'm with Mike mate, I'd consider trimming that list if you can. Good luck though, hope you enjoy it, I know you'll finish it! :-)

  5. Looking forward to reading the match report afterwards... All the best!

  6. Thats a lot of energy boosters for maybe 5 hours or less of riding. Have you some plain water too? The gels tend to require it.

    I know circumstances are different but on a typical ride of that distance I have 2 bottles of juice, emergency dried fruit and raw nuts and maybe a cereal bar.

    Good luck BTW, am sure you'll have a blast.

  7. Well done Toby Old Bean, I've been keeping tabs on you, I knew you'd piss it! :-)

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  9. Well done mate great acheivement

  10. I didn't use it all and had 2L of water in my hydration bladder.

    Thanks Clive and Les.

    I'll post about the ride tomorrow.

  11. I read Clive's shout out that you nailed it. Well done. Looking forward to reading your version.


  12. Thanks Mike. The post is now up.


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