The Big Yellow Armadillos Take On London To Brighton (Part.1)
The annual London to Brighton bike ride on the south coast is a hugely popular event with almost 30,000 cyclists taking part and raising money for a very worthy cause. Riders begin their 54 mile journey in Clapham Common with many aiming to reach the seafront in just six hours. Cyclists range from keen enthusiasts to those taking part with friends and family in memory of people they had lost.
Our very own Big Yellow Armadillos cycling team took part. Made up from staff from stores nationwide, who raced down to Brighton weaving through Surrey and over the hills of West Sussex on Sunday 24th June to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.
Join three of our riders, Jimmy Gibson, Patsy Loomes and Ardan Carter as they take on the London to Brighton below.
The sun rose over the Balham store at 7am to find 37 members of the Big Yellow Armadillos cycling team preparing for the 54 miles that was ahead of them, for the annual London to Brighton. Everyone was equipped with their yellow jerseys and numbers pinned to their shirts. The cold early morning air and warm up cycle soon had everyone awake and after a brief pause for the ‘before’ photo the team streamed from the store, as a river of yellow shirts made their way to the starting line.
As we set off on the journey to Brighton everyone was amazed to see so many riders, there were literally thousands of people riding through the streets of London. The early stages were relatively hill free and entirely painless; this perhaps set a false tone for what was to follow.
Weaving through the streets of South London eventually giving way to the leafier suburbs of Surrey the team encountered their first hill at which point the entire field promptly got off and walked! The bottle neck of bikes and riders clogged our path, whilst frustrating it gave us an opportunity for everyone to have a snack and ensured that nobody exerted themselves too much too soon.
We’d been cycling for what seemed like hours and the field began to start opening up along the roads with the Big Yellow shirts becoming a rarer and rarer sight. Some even started to think they had surely clocked up enough miles that they would be almost at Brighton by now. Their optimism was soon gone as we saw a lady on route and she cheered ‘well done, keep going your almost half way’! There was another 30 miles still to go!!!