The big ride took place on Saturday, and I'm relieved to say I made it round the 73 mile course in 5hrs 36mins (accounting for a few stops for repairs), which placed me somewhere around the middle of 30 riders. We started in bright sunshine and although the weather was less kind as the day went on as the sun went in and the wind increased, at least it didn't rain.
If you're interested, the course took us from Cuckfield down through Wineham, (past Mum and Dad's local); then Henfield (where Mum had put some St Barnabas banners up which was a nice little boost!); south to Upper Beeding then across the north side of the Downs and up through Hurstipierpoint; then Ditchling and north west to Barcome (where we stopped for lunch). After lunch came a long northward climb through the Ashdown Forest; another stop in Horsted Keynes before coming back via the notorious 'double dip' at Ardingly reservoir (I did get out and walk for a bit there!) and back via Warninglid. There were a few moments where I thought I would loose the will to live, but managed to keep going with the help of some nutritious supplements (flapjacks, energy gels, jelly babies and lager).
Social distancing meant that we had to ride separately, in small groups. Photos are my pod of 5 (before, during and after).
Thank you so much for the support you have given me (moral and financial). It was a tremendous experience which I will not be repeating in the immediate future, but worth every pedal stroke. The final total raised is £1875.00. If you'd like to give but haven't already, you're still able to at the link below.
Thanks again everyone!