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  • Writer's pictureLondon Clarion Cycle Club

Friday Night Ride to Brighton with London Clarion Cycle Club

Updated: May 6

On Friday 14th July 2023 at 11.00pm, 12 riders met at London’s Trafalgar Square to cycle to Brighton overnight. After one member’s puncture had been repaired, the ride started off at 11.25pm and followed a route along the Embankment, crossing Blackfriars Bridge, down Lambeth Road and St George’s Road, through Elephant and Castle, along the Walworth Road, up Denmark Hill and Champion Hills, along College Road through Dulwich and the A212 through Crystal Palace and along Grange Road, High Street and Gillett Road, where we had to cross a railway footbridge. After a further series of backroads, we eventually found ourselves on the London and Brighton Roads (A235) where a second puncture occurred which was caused by a lot of broken glass in the cycle lane. With that fixed, the majority of the group met up at the top of Farthing Downs, though 2 had already gone on ahead to Brighton. In and around Bletchingley we encountered flooding whilst we also changed route a couple of times to avoid dirt tracks.

Trafalgar Square London late at night.
Trafalgar Square just before midnight

Eventually we decided to change our route altogether and stick to B and A roads because of the lack of traffic. Passing through Three Bridges, we dropped 1 member off at the station and continued to Pease Pottage Services, arriving at c. 5.00am where another puncture was repaired during a quite lengthy stop. Returning to the B124, another 1 peeled off to Haywards Heath, with the remaining 8 dividing at the bottom of Clayton Hill with 5 turning off along Underhill Road to climb the Beacon. After 2 peeled off in Brighton to take the train back, the remaining 6 regrouped to finish the ride together at the Palace Pier and then went for Breakfast at Seven Dials before taking their own trains home. Despite it being July, the weather wasn’t ideal; hot and humid with strong winds and some rain thrown in for good measure. However, it was excellent fun and although night time cycling had its own challenges, it was great to be able to enjoy country roads with so little traffic. We will be looking at organising more Friday overnight rides in the future.

To of Ditchling Beacon London to Brighton ride
Ditchling Beacon very early morning

Palace Pier Brighton
Palace Pier Brighton early Saturday morning

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