on the open roads ?
The only drama’s we had to contend with, was Mike getting a puncture at 32 miles, and then me coming out in sympathy 5 miles later with my own puncture. But we were soon back in our rhythm and reached the base of Ditchling Beacon in fine fettle. By this time the sun was out and it was warming up into a nice 22c
So for the assent of DB, I put the bike in to the lowest gear and worked with one simple strategy. As long as I could keep turning the pedals, then the wheels must keep turning away. It is interesting watching people tackle DB with great gusto and for the first quarter of a mile, many are in the saddle pedalling away, but as the climb steepens, you see them one by one dismount.
For sure I was huffing and puffing all the way up and about half way for one brief moment, watching people dismount, I thought how nice it would be to get off the bike and walk ……. But I am not a defeatist and I was here to beat Ditchling Beacon, so I dug in and kept the pedals turning …… and finally
1 mile and 12 minutes from base camp I reached the summit on 2 wheels…… at 52.5 years old I had finally conquered Ditchling Beacon !
……. Veni, vidi, vici
I would imagine that the pro-cyclists could probably cycle up the hill backwards and still beat me ..... but who cares I beat it ...... want to know why personal bests are better than any world record ? .... well anyone can achieve a world record but only you can achieve your PB.
The ride in to the finish line along Maderia drive from the Beacon was wonderful and with my resplendent red shoes I crossed the finishing line with a beaming smile, all completed in a respectable 4 hours. I even raised an healthy sum of money for the BHF .... what the PR guys call a 'win-win'. To add to the occasion the BHF even gave me a medal that matched the prettiest shoes ever to complete the London to Brighton Bike Ride ......
maybe next time I will try it backwards ...
and as the wonderful Damien wrote a song about
a Beacon hill
here's a bonus SoD
and the next stop ?