Our route takes us from our start point at the Royal Free Hospital’s Recreation Club in London to the seafront of Brighton, with its famous pier and long shingle beach. It’s a hilly route, with the toughest challenge saved till last – the long, steep Ditchling Beacon. One of the most iconic climbs in the South, it has featured in cycling events for decades, including the 1994 Tour de France.
It’s then downhill almost all the way to the seafront, where you can celebrate your achievement before heading home to relax!
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The tour cost includes:
Full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders /mechanics, and support vehicles
Fully marked route and maps
Check points with water, snacks and an energising lunch
We meet early at the Royal Free Hospital Recreation Club, and after a trip briefing and double-checking our bikes, we set off on our exciting cycle challenge!
We head southwest through the streets of London towards Richmond and Twickenham. Our early start will help us to avoid the traffic, and it won’t seem long before we’re heading through the leafy Surrey lanes. The first third of our route is relatively flat, but we encounter some notable climbs as we cross the Surrey Hills, which are a good warm-up for the big test to come.
The afternoon sees more hills as we cross the North Downs and come to the South Downs. Our last climb is the biggie – Ditchling Beacon, one of the most iconic climbs in the South. Used in the Tour of Britain as well as 1994’s Tour de France, it has a height gain of 143m and an average gradient of 9%. It’s a well-earned achievement for anyone, and getting to the top will be your feel-good moment of the year!
It’s then downhill to Brighton and its famous sea-front, where we celebrate before saying your farewells and heading home!
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary, as well as vehicle support.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.
This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.
For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.