On Saturday I took part in the London to Brighton off road bike ride.
The event, now in its 6th year attracts around 3,000 mountain bikers who take to the cycle paths and single track trails to ride all the way to Brighton from the capital to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation.
I took part in this event last year and found it tough going. However, I wanted to complete the L2B triple and do the day, night and off-road ride in the same year.
The ride starts at Roehampton University and heads west through Richmond Park, along the River Thames to Hampton Court Palace and then to Weybridge in Surrey before heading south.
As the ride heads over the M25 and the A3, you ride straight through Wisley airfield. It's a runway dating back to WWII and it feels quite strange riding through it.
|The rest stop in Shere|
The longest and most tedious section of the route is the Downs Link. It's an old railway line and connects Guildford with Shoreham-by-sea. The entire length of the Downs Link is 37 miles. The route took us on 26 miles of it.
The Downs Link was also the place where I had my crash. While crossing the road and bumping over some kerb stones, the angle I hit them and with mud on my tyres, my front wheel slid out from under me and I hit the ground hard. With a grazed knee and a bruised hand I wasn't badly injured. Within minutes however, two other riders did the same.
|The place where I fell off.|
Once you've done the climb there's a longer steady ascent to Truleigh Hill. At the top, there is a fast and bumpy descent into Shoreham. Last year my wrists and arms took a battering from the cheap suspension forks on my bike. This year, with a new 29er with air suspension, was much better.
Once in Shoreham you cross the harbour and head to the seafront. Last year there was a headwind to the finish. The last 3 miles felt like 3 times that. This year it was a breeze with a tailwind.
|Having a rest before the final climb|
Having done it two years in a row, I'm not in a hurry to do it again. Next years challenge is the South Downs Way 100. It hurts just thinking about that one!
If you want to sponsor me for my efforts, please visit www.justgiving.com/toby2013 or text 'TOBY82 £2' to 70070.
|Me at the Finish|
|The views from the south downs|
Here's a video of last year's ride to show you what it's like.