Any advice for a newbie doing the London to Brighton?


New Member
I have just started commuting to work 6.5 miles each way after not cycling for 10 year.

I am after any advice I can get on diet or cycling. I have started a blog to plot my discoveries along the way. It is at

I have signed up for the London to Cambridge cycle ride in July and the London to Brighton cycle ride in July.

I have started getting sponsorship for the London to Cambridge, if you have any advice about any of these issues please either reply to this or add a comment to my blog.

Many Thanks


Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Kirton, Devon.
Welcome Breatnac. I've done a few L2B's so here are my thoughts...especially the safety bits:

Forget public transport being any use at all, it's simply off limits.
START EARLY...unless you want to walk to Brighton.
LISTEN to the Marshalls...there's usually enough blood on the roads.
Be vary aware of other cyclists, most are OK, many are complete numptys unfortunately.
Be especially careful close to feeding stations...people just stop all of a sudden or launch themselves at random into your path.:smile:
Be aware of any slight incline, the start of which will be accompanied by the graunching of gears and everybody in front of you just stopping!
Ditto the tops of hills, people just stop.:biggrin:


Do make lots of cake stops:biggrin:
Do chat to people along the road:biggrin:
Do be prepared for all weathers, one year we left London in a heatwave and arrived in Brighton in a sleet-storm, several people were treated for extreme cold.:biggrin:
Take sunglasses, suncream etc.
Be prepared for a long day out, it's only 54 miles but the sheer weight of numbers makes progress slow...anyway, what's the rush?:biggrin:
Do enjoy a lot of Lycra!
Dont stop at the bottom of either Turners hill or Ditchling Beacon.
Ditchling Beacon is usually a procession with room for a single file of bicycles...people will-NOT keep left as requested. The rider in front Will stop and leave you nowhere to go!
The Ice-cream and the view at the top of the Beacon is ace!
The drop into Brighton is a blast.
Getting through Brighton to the Sea-front is a drag.
If you want a good Massage after the finish...ask for Sheryl.

It is a great day out, but it is very crowded unless you are away early. The fact that there are so many riders of different experience means extra vigilance is required.



Not much more you can add to that as it's all present and correct. I ditto the leaving as early as poss if you actually want to ride the whole way. Just ignore your given start time and get there about 6!


did L2B last year fairly raw

i took three bannanas and an apple, each one worth it's weight in gold after mid point, body wanted them, keep drinking water

sun cream, I nearly got burnt, luckily the sun went in in time

good fun and nothing like as hard as you think, there's some serious fat arses creaking along on utter wrecks and they make it


Started young, and still going.
Use the L2B as a warm up for the L2C. You will enjoy the cambridge ride a lot more.


New Member
Thank you

Thanks you for all your advice, I will take each piece of it and use it well. I have just bought a camelbak for hydration, I also take a banana on a long trip, I heard you say an apple is a good idea. are there any other foods you would recommend for training, recovery or general stamina building?


New Member
Thanks for the advice about sponsorship, I have a just giving account at I have sent an email around work and I will be sending flyers around my neighbour so that I do not bother them with a sponsorship form, I hate feeling like I am forced to sponsor people. I would rather they sponsored me and felt good about it.


Smokin Joe said:
L2B is 54 miles.

I did London - Cambridge in 1991 and my diary records 77 miles but that included riding to the start at Picketts Lock from Hornchurch, so I would guess about 65ish.


I was only asking because:

a) I didn't know, and
:sad: I think too much is made of the "challenge"

I am not saying there is not a challenge, as it is but these things seem to be "bigged up" (I am Ali G :rolleyes:) - perhaps a consequence of "tough" sportives? :rolleyes:

The best bits of advice I can give: You can do it, not reason to worry, take it easy (it's not a race), and enjoy it.

I was put off by "tough" messages when I started riding - crowding may be an issue but only if you allow it to be! Start early, or relax a bit...


Started young, and still going.
London to Cambridge is about 52 miles now. It used to be a bit longer, but the start is now from The Lea Valley country park at Waltham Cross.
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