Postby Jono on Wed 6/Feb/02 6:27am

ok - so it doesn't include too many real hills, but this one looks to be an epic of bum-smacking smaur action. Not sure if I'll do it, because I think it will show me up for the no-mates loser I am...Mind you, it might be worth it so that we can get a proper 10 on the broken meter...


here are the details of the fabled Croydon to Coast ride:

The ride will take place on Saturday 23rd February and the plan is to meet at East Croydon station at 7: 00am for a 7:15am prompt set-off time; if you are not there by 7:15, head through South Croydon towards Purley and you may catch us up and if not, ride by road to the cafe on the top of Reigate Hill. If you do this by road, there is every chance that you'll reach it before us. We will be riding on road as far as Purley (which is still classed as Croydon) before heading up through Happy Valley and onto the North Downs Way. From here, we plan to keep on the NDW through Reigate Hill, Headley Heath, Boxhill and Ranmore Common before crossing the A25 to get onto Leith Hill. From Leith, we'll cross over onto Holmbury and then follow bridleways through to Cranleigh to pick up the Downs Link, which is a disused railway line that runs from Guildford through to Steyning/Upper
Beeding. From here, we'll climb up onto Truleigh Hill on the South Downs Way and keep on the SDW until Devil's Dyke, where we'll follow the bridleways downhill all the way into Brighton to catch the train home.

We have estimated that it is between 80 and 90 miles in length and will take upwards of ten hours, meaning that decent lights are going to be essential for the latter section of the ride. If lights are a problem, there may be a chance that other Addiscombe members who are not riding will lend you a set. We have the use of a support car which will meet us at strategic places along the route, and this should save us time as we won't have to stop for too long for refreshments.

Upon reaching Brighton, we will ride to the beach for the 'Oh my god, we've made it' photograph before having a pint/getting some food and returning to the station.

I must point out that this ride will be a major undertaking and will require a pretty decent level of fitness and stamina. We shall be taking the fastest routes we can rather than technical trails to try and fend off tiredness.  Luckily, there are get-out clauses along the route where anyone who is too fatigued can ride to a nearby station to make the return
journey. This ride has been attempted before by Marco and he got as far as Christs Hospital before throwing in the towel. Saying that, he didn't eat anything and had no money for supplies.

As for kit, obviously helmets are going to be mandatory and I would stress the importance of bringing at least two spare tubes and a puncture repair kit (if past ACC trips to the South Downs are anything to go by, you'll need them!!). Also, check your bike is in decent working order before the ride as a 'fatal' mechanical after 60 miles would be heartbreaking to say the least. I would recommend bringing a waterproof jacket as well and if you require a change of clothes, I am sure that we can sort out for it to be brought down in the support car (the Cushtiemobile!!).

More than anything else, this is going to be a ride of epic proportions and the feeling of reaching the beach at Brighton is going to be one of exhilarartion and great achievement. Good luck to everyone who attempts it, and to whoever gets given the task of remembering everything that happens for the write-up afterwards!!

MTB Secretary.

p.s. If any of you can think of anyone else who would like to join us on this ride (John Lemouis for instance), please pass this on as all are welcome to join us, regardless of whether they are club members or not; I just hope it doesn't put them off possibly joining in the future!!  ;-)
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Postby Jono on Sat 9/Feb/02 11:41pm

Phew - an out - it appears that I may be shifting office that weekend, and won't be able to complete the ride. Oh well...maybe next time  ;)
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