London to Brighton Offroad

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  • London to Brighton Offroad
  • jayx2a
    Member

    Anyone done this before?

    Its not something I have ever tried and have never ridden this kind of distance.

    I rarely do rides any further than 15miles but these do involve a lot of hills but going from 15miles to 70+ miles is huge.

    I don’y have enough spare time to get huge miles in – not sure if I am just being silly thinking its something I can do in such a short space of time.

    Anyone done it before? How much training did you do?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’d focus on nutrition and hydration. If you can get those right the actual distance won’t be a problem.

    Eat constantly – just a little but every 15 mins. cereal bars, mini pork pies, peanuts and chocolate m&m’s mixed, mini malt loafs – variety but carbs, protein &salt. Avoid gels unless your stomach is used to them. Drink. then drink some more. If you’re not weeing every hour or two drink more. Use SIs tlectrolyte tablets etc.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    I’d focus on nutrition and hydration. If you can get those right the actual distance won’t be a problem.

    This ^^^

    The L2B offroad is not technical or particularly hilly…its mostly the Downs Link which is mostly old railway line. So really, if you’re not use to long days in the saddle, it’s likely to be the discomfort of being in the saddle for that long if you’re not use to it.

    I mean to do the L2B offroad but, once a year or so, i do Dorking to Eastbourne offroad instead: NDW to Newlands/St Marthas, Downs Link to SDW, SDW to Eastbourne…nice ride, must do it again soon

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Oh and although it won;t affect this year West Sussex council have just been given half a million quid to resurface large parts of the Downs Link so it’ll be a gravel bash soon than anything too off road.

    dakuan
    Member

    I’ve done this, took 4.5 hours in total, but going at a fair clip and didnt stop. I also drafted the **** out of everyone I could haha.

    I’d echo wwaswas. Eating is the trick, I carred some bars and had a nibble every 20mins or so. So long as you don’t try to go too fast early on it’s just a long bike ride. There is nothing technial at all, you could do it on a gravel / CX bike no trouble.

    Not too much in the way of climbing, the downs at the end is a bit of a short sharp shock, but a short walk too if you aren’t feeling it.

    The start is HECTIC. Super super busy, and on narrow riverside paths. It gets very congested. I had lots of grief getting by lots of overcompetitive MAMILs. They’d get cross after I overtook and then hustle their way back in front before slowing down again. Judging by their guts they had zero chance of staying with me, but they werent having it.

    It’s a great day out on the bike, might do it again this year.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Thanks all, so be more saddle sore than anything else. Sounds like my FS might be overkill then and thats all I have got!

    Premier Icon mccraque
    Subscriber

    as far as 70 mile offroad rides go, it’s a nice one for the miles, even if the mid portion of the downslink gets a little samey from Cranleigh down to Bramber. But you can make good time, and there’s plenty of places to stop (Cranleigh, Southwater) as well as a couple of “official” route stops that they throw in.

    I would advise starting as early as possible to clear SW London and get ahead of the more casual riders.

    When I did it I didn’t even go to the official start, we just rode to the Uni and then didn’t bother going in. Managed to get underway not in a big pack so the first part was fine.

    jayx2a
    Member

    So will I feel my FS will be more of a burden than helpful! Might be worth putting on some faster rolling tyres i guess or give em some more air.

    I don’t have any other bikes but I guess it’s a good excuse to add a HT to the family lol.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    bit of extra air in the tyres and you’ll be fine

    jayx2a
    Member

    So what kind of training programmes would people recommend?

    Obviuosly need to up my mileage, but think I need to go for some longer flatter rides as I am just mainly going up and down hills where I ride so not covereing huge miles!

    How many times a week would you recommend bwtween now and the event? I am not super fit and carrying a few extra pounds so this will help with that too.

    Is it worth considering a HT too? I have wanted to get a cheap 2nd hand one for a bit of a laugh, so maybe this coudl be the excuse to get one as sometimes the FS does feel a bit of a drag (but thats probably my fitness over anything else).

    Might be just a case of getting some faster rollong not quite so wide tyres on there. I’m sure theer are better 29″ tyres out there for longer rides!

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    Everything that’s been said about nutrition and hydration is true. Get that wrong and you’ll come unstuck big time. I did it a few years ago and I wasn’t feeling very well the day before. Woke up on the day feeling better so decided to give it a go. 35 miles in and I hit the wall big time. Spent most of the downslink (37 miles) slumped over the bars going very slowly. Trust me, you don’t want to be doing that.

    As for preparation. Do rides of over 2 hours. Preferably more like 3-4. Over those lengths you’ll use up your energy stores and will need to become familiar with how to refuel, and that is what will help you on the main ride.

    First reply you got above tells you exactly what to eat. Most of all enjoy it.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Oh and although it won;t affect this year West Sussex council have just been given half a million quid to resurface large parts of the Downs Link so it’ll be a gravel bash soon than anything too off road.

    Really? It’s basically gravel anyway, particularly the Sussex bit. What are they going to surface it with? The Surrey section north of Rudgwick is the muddier bit.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    I’ve done a few 100 mile ish road rides, back to back days on pretty limited training time – I just threw all the hills I could into 45min – 1 hour rides, and got maybe 2-3 100Km steady rides in.

    Key is pacing (as well as eating and drinking, covered above) – dig too deep and you will suffer. The long days above were charity rides, so the pacing was very steady, I was rarely over 80% effort chatting and helping others along. If it’s not a hilly route it will really help.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’d agree on the pacing – I’m used to going out and burying myself for 2 hours, attacking hills, sprinting descents.

    I did the SDW in a day a couple of weeks back and a few rides beforehand where I deliberately backed right off and just spun up the hills, didn’t push on the flat bits and let gravity take me down the hills really helped me understand a pace I could maintain all day. I’d never done more than 50 miles off road (and my first road century 2 weeks earlier) before so a 100 miles and 14 hours elapsed were a big test of pacing and nutrition.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Thanks for all the tips! Guess make sure I can carry all I need comfortably in a pack.

    Looking at the stops on route I shouldnt need to carry a full bladder of water? I don’t want to overload myself, but then again, want to make sure I have enough!

    tallsam
    Member

    I did this with a couple of mates last year. We just did it. Not part of any official ride or anything. Set off from Twickenham (where one of my mates lives). We wild camped on Shere Heath. It was great. Not difficult. A few small hills on the way to Shere and then we just joined the old rail trail the second day (so mostly flat). If you come via Shoreham then you can cut through the downs a bit (if you want to avoid excessive hills.

    I did it on no training at all. Plus at the time I drove to work so hardly ever was on a bike (to my shame). I’d recommend a stop here if you do go this way: https://stansbikeshack.com/

    30 ish miles the first day.
    43 the next.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Mate is juct checking diary then we will book in as still spaces left. It will give me a kick up the arse to get myself in gear anyway!

    Gives me time to get longer rides in and find a comftable way to carry everything as my Hip Pack might not quite be enough I guess so be back on to a pack.

    I’ll just chime in to echo, from personal experience, two things already mentioned.

    * Eat and drink lots. When I did it I’d done those sort of miles before, so thought nothing of it. After not eating or drinking properly (and possibly from being a bit ill the days before) I was dead by the time I hit the downs link. Took a LOT of cake stuffing and cola drinking from my ride-mate to bring me back to life to get to the end.
    * Yeah, the downs link section is really boring. Make sure you’ve got energy to get through it quick! :p

    p.s. also yes, Stans Bike Shack is a great place to stop

    EDIT: A bizzarely similar experience to painey by the sounds of it!

    Premier Icon El Vino
    Subscriber

    If you are talking about the British Heart Foundation version, you could get by with a water bottle and no food as there were plenty of stops on the way where you could refuel and fill your water bottle. I did it on the Gravel bike this year but to be honest I would have been happier on the mtb as I took a tumble on the last descent. There is not as much as the downs link as you would think as they cut a chunk out rather than go through Guilford

    jayx2a
    Member

    So what we talking Fluid wise? 2L bladder and a bottle on the bike to get between stops?

    Plus lots of easy to pack food!

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    It’s easy, use plenty of ‘bum cream’, it’s your ‘arris that will give in first, there’s nothing hilly to kill your legs.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Version of this in that there Singletrack Magazine this issue in’t there?

    jayx2a
    Member

    So food, bum cream and training – sorted!

    I dont want to carry a massive pack if I dont have too!!

    Premier Icon superleggero
    Subscriber

    Echo what pictonroad says above about ar5e giving in before legs for that type of ride, particularly if you aren’t used to that duration in the saddle.

    Suggest you have a decent quality chamois, if you don’t have one already, preferably one which is rated for longer rides. I switched from the bog standard Endura ones that come with their shorts to a decent quality one and it made a huge difference. If you decide to buy a new pair of shorts/cycling underwear suggest you break in the chamois ahead of the big day.

    I’d add comfort to hydration, fuelling, and pacing, as something to consider.

    Please come back and give us a write up on how it went for you …and good luck!

    It’s an easy ride. Just aim to ride 70 miles a week in the preceeding 3 to 4 weeks and you will cruise it. Use your garmin calorie beeper to remind you to eat and drink, 200 cls seems about right for me, you may need more frequency take a book for the downs link, and keep some gas for the last climb it’s not pleasant

    jayx2a
    Member

    I think I will just stick to my current FS anyway – its by far the most comfortable bike I have ridden fit wise and its got lock out front and rear.

    I do need a new saddle so Im going to try some this week so I can find a long distance comfy one way before the event!

    Will probably play it safe and take some water in a bladder and not fill it right up and a bottle on the bike. If I feel the bottle is enough between stops I can just empty the bladder.

    Will see how my Dakine Hip Pack feels on a long ride and decide whether to use that or go back to my evoc stage pack for this one.

    And yes i need better undershorts – my ones are the basic Endura ones and the padding is pretty thin – do Endura do a better version?

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    EDIT: A bizzarely similar experience to painey by the sounds of it!

    Exactly! I blew up just as I arrived at the top of Winterfold. It was a very, very long day after that.

    Premier Icon superleggero
    Subscriber

    Re Endura undershorts the best one they do is called the SingleTrack Liner Short at £45-£50, which has a 500 series chamois pad. If you want a better pad in the Endura stuff then you need to look at the Endura FS260 Pro shorts which have a 600 series pad (these are Lycra road cycling shorts which can be worn under baggies at £67). There are also bibshorts, recommendations for which are covered in another current thread on here. Of course brands other than Endura are available in all categories.

    Premier Icon Wally
    Subscriber

    You will love it.
    it’s a great intro to a long ride.
    Go as light as you can with the smoothest tyres you have. Done it a few times, really pretty on a lovely day.

    jayx2a
    Member

    I have comfy baggies and prefer undershorts to bibs.

    Will have a look at the single track liner.

    Are the 900 decathlon ones any good?

    jayx2a
    Member

    I have 2.3 ardent and high roller on at the moment. What 29er tyres should I be looking out for?

    itpit
    Member

    I’ve done it last month on Schwalbe G One speed 2.35. Any semi slick should do.

    Aspens , Ikons , Ralphs , Rons . basically any light weight TLR carcass aimed at xc racing.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Bit of a toss up between taking the FS for rear end comfort or getting a HT and go light as poss. Think the Trek comes is at 14.2 KG ish.

    Maybe a bit lighter since I went tubeless.

    Will definitely look at the tyres mentioned above!

    ram145
    Member

    Following thread with interest as I’m also thinking about this as an into to all day rides. Thanks for all the pointers.
    I think I will be doing it solo at the moment if anyone fancies meeting up, would welcome some company…it’s a long day!

    jayx2a
    Member

    I’m beginning to think I am mad for entering, never been 20 miles, let alone 70 lol

    Need to put together a 12 week plan and get my ass in gear!

    I am thinking:

    2-3 evenings per week – due to time constraints concentrate on hill work (I am based at the bottom of the south downs so already start on a hill!) – should get around 6-10 mile rides in each night depending on time.

    Weekends – go for a much longer ride – try utilise some of the flatter areas of the south downs? Start at 15miles then work my way up by say 5 miles per week.

    Any other training tips?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    You’re really overthinking this, if you don’t mind me saying.

    I think upping the length of time you spend on a bike is a good thing to get used to fueling and pacing yourself but if your aim is to finish you probably already have the fitness needed to achieve that based on what you do now.

    If you’re just looking for an excuse to ride more then crack on, however 🙂

    jayx2a
    Member

    You might be right! Think I have been reading the guides and the advice on the website too much! They give some massive plan about training, weights, marking all these things in your diary etc!

    I do need to ride more anyway – this will just give me the motivation to crack on!

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    You’re really overthinking this, if you don’t mind me saying

    This^^^^

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