We want to say a huge congratulations to all those who took part in the 54-mile London to Brighton cycle ride last Sunday!
Body & Soul had six cyclists undertaking this challenge in order to raise money for our vital support services, helping us to continue our work with children, young people and families living with or affected by HIV here in the UK.
We’re extremely happy to announce that together these fundraisers have raised over £1,300 for Body & Soul – a total still rising as more donations continue to come in!
A HUGE THANK YOU to all the cyclists who took part in this incredible challenge – you should be proud of what you have achieved, with your efforts making a real difference to the work of Body & Soul.
We asked Will, one of our cyclists to give us a report on how the day went, straight from the (apparently less than comforable) saddle…
“London to Brighton (to Eastbourne)
The first 10 miles (to the start line):
Mike and I met at 5.20am and began our cycle to the start line. We arrived at 6.30 and fully understood why they recommend you don’t cycle to the start line. Not only were we exhausted and desperate for the toilet but my new SportsDirect cycling shorts had already begun to chafe.
The next 27 miles…
We kept up a good pace over the first 27 miles; travelling through some really nice countryside and enjoyed some very steep descents as well as some rather gruelling climbs. At 9.30 we reached the halfway point and had some “lunch”. The organisers had laid on a breathtaking spread containing every type of pasta, from pasta with tomato sauce to pasta without, and every conceivable variation and combination imaginable in between. We ate our weight in carbs and enjoyed a variety of sweet snacks. I rediscovered marshmallow squares and promptly demolished 3 in as many minutes. Just after 10 we set off again.
The next 25.5 miles…
We maintained our pace throughout the second leg until we were overtaken by some freakishly fit people with an incredible ability to climb hills at speed for many miles. We were forced to increase our pace to distance ourselves from them. With about 10 miles to go until the finish line we got our first glimpse of the infamous Brighton hill; Mike described it as looking like something from the ‘The Perfect Storm’ which I thought was a great description. I’m pleased to say we both made it to the top without stopping or walking.
We arrived at the finish line at 11.55!
The NEXT 31.5 miles…
Not fully satisfied by the London to Brighton challenge, and with it being so early in the day, we decided to take the coastal road to Eastbourne – a decision we later regretted. On the map this looked like an enjoyable 22 mile ride along the picturesque coastline with only a small detour inland through the town of Newhaven… not the case. We eventually arrived at the diversion inland, and perhaps due to tiredness or perhaps due to poor navigating skills, we made two catastrophic wrong turns. This not only forced us to complete the rest of the journey on a dual carriageway but also added the best part of 10 miles to the route.
As you can imagine, the realisation of these errors was something of a low point. But we eventually made it to Eastbourne where we enjoyed fish and chips, a pint of beer and the simple joy of a seat not shaped like a spear head. Shortly afterwards we caught the next train back to London.
The last 7 miles…
We arrived in Victoria at 6.30pm. 7 miles now stood between me and finally removing my cycling shorts. It took us quite some time but we eventually made it home. Overall we cycled over 101 miles.”