Just wondering as anyone done such as thing and if yes any tips.
We were talking about this earlier this evening. Choose a nice ratio that you can do the miles on, there are three of four long hills that will hurt before the real painful one, which of course is Ditchling Beacon. The tip for that... have a flip flop rear with some very friendly gear and some spare chain links... or walk ;) Beware the speed on the downhill on the other side, definately run a front brake if you don't already.
Interesting. I'll be doing London to Brighton this year fixed and was thinking about the same thing. Hmm...hills that hurt. Don't like the sound of that, especially near the 50 mile mark. Should be fun, regardless though.
velocity boy, did you do this ride already? Am also thinking of Dunwich Dynamo, but am seriously contemplating geared.
Did it last year, mad fun but have a brake. That hill at the end is a real ballbiter. Good fun route though, specially sleeping on the trainride back.
+1 to the brake.
and however long you think its going to take add on 2 hours.
do not stop for a smoke
do make sure everything you've got on is comfy inc bag.
"are we nearly there yet?"
I've done it four times, but always geared.
Last year was my best time at 3 hours and 7 minutes from Clapham Junction to the time we stopped in a coffee shop in Brighton after finishing (given the couple of water and piss stops we all reckoned we did around 2hrs 45mins of actual cycling). Last year was also my first time up Ditchling Beacon without dismounting, walking or stopping. When you see it you'll know why that is an achievement.
There isn't much that would cause trouble on fixed for the first 30 miles or so, a few long climbs that wouldn't be too bad, but after that there are a couple of shorter and steeper climbs. On a normal day you'd think it easy, but after that distance it does start to burn your legs a little. The downhills you need to be careful of, there's one with a turn and a train arch at the bottom that people always come off at.
Ditchling Beacon is the big one before Brighton, and it hurts a lot on the way up.
If you do it, get as early a time-slot as possible. If you leave after 7:30am then you will be faced with long walks up hills even if you could do them. A lot of fairweather commuters do this ride, and they tend to dismount on hills. When the road is a single lane wide, it only takes three fairweather cyclists to dismount to force everyone behind them to dismount. The traffic means that once that happens everyone is walking.
+1 to salmonchild and the comfy bag. I'd go further and say don't stop for food at all, just water and pissing. Carry as much water as you can comfortably manage, at least two water bottles, and drink often in small mouthfuls rather than seldom and lots. Do not carry anything you really don't need for the ride.
I want to do the Dunwich Dynamo, but it would have to be geared or single-speed.
London to Brighton fixed is a little tricky. Did this with IOC and others but it was really hard on the brakeless riders in our group.
Took us about 5hrs as we really didn't have a route planned out beforehand, got lost a few times and there were quite a few nice country pubs on the way.
Ditchling beacon is a killer. You really need to gear down to make this all the way up (something like a 46x18 makes it possible).
Couldn't imagine doing the actual London to Brighton fixed as the descents would be a nightmare. All those folks braking at random would strip the fun out of riding fixed.
I rode the L2B last year using a 72" gear. Ditchling Beacon had me scared (and people telling me to ride geared) so I scoped it out a week beforehand. I absolutely love climbing on fixed when you use your upper body almost as much as your legs, and DB satisfied that and turned out to be great fun. Quite a bit easier and shorter that I was expecting, but by no means a walk in the park. If you work your way to the front as much as possible in the first half of the ride you shouldn't be too crowded in. If you're assertive on your way up and let people know you're coming past you should be OK.
I managed the whole ride without unclipping, though being able to ride at 0.002mph up hills and around the walkers is a must (and that was with a 7.30 start).
The only time I almost regretted my decision was on the many long, steep and windy descents - DEFINITELY run a front brake and be confident in leg braking (and breatheeee).
It definitely felt like much more of an achievement having done in on a fixed, and it was also a lot more fun! With the ride on home to Eastbourne after Brighton taking it to 80 miles, I was really pleased!
You'll get a few comments from those in the know along the way which is bound to put a smile on your face, and what could better than cruising up hills past all the roadies in lycra (especially fun in baggy shorts!).
Well, fantastic tips y'all. Looking forward to it. And I'm sure i'll do L2B fixed and Dunwich Dynamo geared.
I rode it as an unofficial late November L2B with a group of freinds on fixed 68" and got up the Beacon and on the official ride last year with some work colleagues that wanted to do it.
Top tip for the day leave as early as possible to avoid the chaos, by 9am the roads were packed with inexperienced riders wandering all over the road un-announced and experienced riders that should have known better blatting past people at fag paper clearance. Saw at least ten people being scraped off the road by ambulance staff.
I got up Ditchling again on 68" but was more out of breath shouting at people to get out of the way, I know others who have been up it on 73" without major problems.
As for brakeless "you nutters" :)
PS Dunwich Dynamo is a lovely ride on fixed ;)
PS: Salmon and I owned that bitch brakeless. What.
have you guys done the dynamo fixed? i can't even imagine 120 miles in a car, let alone fixed.
Hovis Brown:have you guys done the dynamo fixed? i can't even imagine 120 miles in a car, let alone fixed.
Yep, only right to as it was originally started by Couriers on fixed :) I Audax on fixed as do quite a few others an S.R-- 200km/ 300km/ 400km and a 600km plus PBP 2003 and London Edinburgh London 2005 Thats where the 'nut' bit comes in to my nickname :)
Fantastic. you're right...if the dynamo was started by couriers, it's definitely possible. i'm going to have to get my milage up before july, then.
Anyone else thinking of doing it this year?
I've been idliy thinking of doing it - will need to get fit as it would be the longest ride that I've done in my life. One of my friends is thinking of going there and back on a bike (with gears) so I'm thinking (even more idly) of doing that with a flip flop hub.
Yeah, I wanna do the DD and I'm booked for the L2B but I'm going to be doing both on my road bike methinks.
L2B because I'm with newb mates and Dunwich on geared because I'm not too good with long distances on geared let alone fixed!
I could probably do it on the MTB SS as it actually has bottle cages whereas the track bike err doesn't! :)
Momentum:One of my friends is thinking of going there and back on a bike (with gears) so I'm thinking (even more idly) of doing that with a flip flop hub.
I usually feel fresher doing epic rides on fixed - any coasting, and the lactic acid seems to accumulate very quickly. Did a roundabout London to Southend and back last year (120miles) and felt fresher at 100miles than after the first 20 (on 81"), so I spontaneously decided to throw in some hill intervals as we got near Navestock... not very popular with my geared cohorts!
Did London to Brighton the other year on 67.5". Needed the lower gear to get comfortably up the Beacon, but also to get back up a much more brutal climb just before Caterham - sort of grind-trackstand-grind-trackstand for about 5 mins. Did feel a bit more wasted/battered at the end of day though due to all the high revving, so I'd always gear up if it's a flatter route.
Neither of these rides were the official versions, but we still set off by 7am to avoid motor traffic as much as possible.
i'm going to do l2b fixed this year, did brighton to london geared last summer, a couple of my mates did it fixed (brakeless) and took their feet off the pedals on the last hill!!
I'll be doing the DD this year if I happen to be around. There's a few from my office doing it, if I go I'll definitely be doing it fixed.
i did north london to brighton yesterday. i didnt have a map though so i went the whole way on the a23, which for half the journey is practically motorway. oh well it was fun anyway, and on the a23 you dont have to go over ditchling beacon :)
I have ridden from L2B with a bunch of couriers, some of whom were on fixed, a couple of times. I think the most appropriate gear would be yer bog-standard 42-16. Not small enough for Ditchling or Turner's Hill but still the best choice.
I reckon the first time we rode there, it took us about 10 hours or something stupid like that.
Because we spent a lot of time doing this:
Yes, 10 hours.
DD would be a lot easier on fixed, I can't remember any steep or long hills. It is a long way, tho, and I would only want to ride that sort of distance on a bike I knew really well.
I did the L>B fixed a couple of years ago on 48x16 did it in 2hr 55min - I swore a lot on the Beacon but otherwise it was fine...
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