Slight trepidation before the start but this event is so superbly organised, the marshalling is great, there were 15 official refreshment stops along the way
and many unofficial ones – offering free water and bananas or cakes and even a hosing down by two eager children at one – but at least they gave you the option to decline.
The weather was great for cycling until we got to the Ditchling Beacon – a monster of a steep hill which all but the fittest walked up (I walked, needless to say ) but what I wasn’t expecting was the howling gale at the top of it! As we toiled uphill we noticed some huge speakers in the hedgerow and a cable leading up to a van. Then an ethereal voice floated out over our heads …….’Lady in the pink T shirt! we can see you! (What, me?) ‘¿Quién me habla?’ I thought. The local Scout Group was manning this stop – they have to have their fun!
Jumper back on, it was downhill into a head wind and gratefully on to the coast. The hills on the South Downs are longer than what I’m used to – whether you’re going up or down – the down hill was fun – top speed for me was 30 mph but some of the youngsters were going down like demons. There were a few spills and the odd puncture – thankfully not for us, so, all in all, it was a great experience and if you enjoy cycling I recommend it – but I’m glad I did some training first.
Of course, the whole point was to raise some money for the British Heart Foundation and thanks to YOUR generosity Team Dawe (my brother, my nephew and myself) between us raised around £1,250 – so we are very pleased.