London to Brighton

Soph at Turners Hill Following the chain breaking incident last night, which shock me up a little, we had an early start getting up at 5:30am. We cycled down the A3 to Clapham Common for the 6:30 start with a brief stop at Evans cycles to pick up a new chain, as I did not trust my bodge. The chain had a “easy link” which is designed to be easy to use however after 10 min of trying to get it to link correctly I asked one of the mechanics to try and fit it, I am glad to say he had more trouble than me.  I eventually managed it and we made it to the start on time.

The weather was slightly overcast and there was a chill in the air but we had a really enjoyable time up until the first hill when half the cyclists in front forgot how to pedal and the road ground to a halt.  We both managed to navigate through the melee of walking riders and stopped at the next feed station having a bacon butty and coke.

Turners hill was the next climb and Soph managed it well not even looking tired at the top.  My legs were fine and I was really enjoying spending time riding next to Soph.

We were now on very familiar turf riding through Ardingly stopped again at Lindfield for a quick drink. Then onto Haywards Heath and towards the Beacon, I went up the Beacon ahead of Soph and it was a good ride up, at the summit I had an ice cream and waited for Soph, sooner than expected, she appeared having ridden up all the way too!

Soph at the top of the BeaconI then got Soph a 99 and then it was down hill all the way to Brighton.

Easy running or so I thought. Soph is not to keen understandably on going fast.  So on the decent I was riding the brakes to stop pulling ahead from her, as we wished to finish together, when all of a sudden there was a massive bang and my back wheel went under me.

I thought that was it, I am heading for a huge crash and it was going to hurt. So I wrestled with the bike and some how managed to keep the bike upright pulling over to side of the road. Getting of the bike I looked at the wheel and was amazed to see the inner tube wrapped round the rear brake and axle.  Two cyclist’s behind us were amazed at how it looked. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of it as it was quite a sight.

I removed the inner tube then spotted a large gash in the side of my tyre wall about 10cm long.  This was too big to carry on with as a new inner tube would just herniate through it. So Soph set off down the road to Halfords to get a new tyre and I started walking. Soph called me from Halfords and like any large out of town shop they had everything apart from a type the correct size for my bike (700 x32) now I would not mind but its not a rare size of tyre but its just not a fashionable size and so they don’t stock it. She got a cheap halfords tyre the size narrower, we fitted it and slowly completed the ride about 1h30 later than we should off.

My parents were at the finish and then we celebrated with a lovely meal.  Soph and I then cycled home by now her legs were starting to ache and so we took it easy.

I am so happy that we managed to finish the ride and am glad that it was me not Soph who caused the problems.  Obviously it has made me think about what equipment I need to take with me on my ride, knowing my habit of breaking things.

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2 Responses to “London to Brighton”

  1. Lou Shaw says:

    congratulations you two, Philip your tales are keeping us amused! lets hope all these niggles are being ironed out before France.

    Love Lou x

  2. Marv Cadwell says:


    Good show by Soph and You!!! I think you need run flat tires for the remainder of the run. Your father put me on to your web site.
    Marv Cadwell
    Malvern, PA USA