The Alternative Bike Ride to Brighton

There are several big cycle rides in the UK that most people have at least heard of. The ridiculously difficult ones are the John O’Groats to Land’s End (a painful 1349km) or the London to Paris ride (a marginally more manageable 514.3km), but the London to Brighton is well known enough in its own right, and covers 87km.

The official London to Brighton bike ride is organised annually by the British Heart Foundation, and 2011’s effort involved more than 27,000 participants, with a target of raising £3.5m. But if you missed that, or you’d prefer to cycle without being so crowded that start times have to be staggered, then here’s another option for you; The Martlets Hospice’s Ride to the Coast.

The principle is the same; to raise money for the hospice, cyclists jump on their bikes and zoom from London down to Brighton, but instead of thousands there will be a couple of hundred, so you won’t be swarmed.

Oh, and they ride at night.

Yup, the ride starts near Victoria Station at midnight and from there you head down to the coast, with a stop-off for coffee and cake halfway to keep you energised, a view of the sunrise over the South Downs and breakfast on the seafront once you arrive at your destination.

This is for everyone – the idea is that you don’t have to be super fit or have a top class bike (although perhaps taking one of the Boris Bikes for the day wouldn’t be the smartest idea); no one will be left behind and there will be someone on hand to deal with any mechanical issues. It’s just a fun, energising event to raise some money for charity, and any event like this is more exciting when it’s done in the middle of the night – fact.

Entry for the race costs £15, which includes refreshments, a T-shirt and a medal (for doing so well). As much sponsorship money as you can possibly raise is also highly appreciated.

For more info, email one of the organisers, Simon Legg, at simon.legg@themartletshospice.co.uk, or call the fundraising team on 01273 747455.

Image by Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious courtesy of Flickr

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