Travellers' Tales: CTC's Great Tour in Brighton

Travellers' Tales: CTC's Great Tour in Brighton

CTC’s Kay Lakin had reservations about riding 52 miles on the Great Tour

Did I want to take part in the Countrywide Great Tour? My initial reaction was: ‘No way!’

I’d only recently begun cycling again and wasn’t sure I could manage the stage from Rye to Brighton. But colleagues Cherry Allan and Susan Keywood changed my mind. Cherry commutes daily by bike and Susan is a leisure cyclist, but like me they hadn’t ridden this far in a day before. So we were all in the same boat.

We had a month to prepare so began cycling together two or three times a week, doing up to 70 miles in total. I was still nervous on the day of the ride. Apart from the hills ahead, I’d never cycled in a large group before.

But, in the event, I enjoyed all of it."

Cherry Allan

However, we received a nice welcome from the tour leaders, the local mayor and even the town crier. The ride started well.

Until the first hill! I thought that I wouldn’t reach the top, never mind finish the ride. But I did. After that, the coastal scenery was wonderful, and looking out across it kept me going. I loved coming down the road the other side of Beachyhead. What a view!

Cherry told me afterwards that she’d been nervous too. ‘I was really worried that I’d have to give up at Eastbourne,’ she said. ‘The talk of fearsome hills got to me. But, in the event, I enjoyed all of it.’

It was a similar story for Susan. ‘I imagined hardly being able to walk the next day,’ she said. ‘But I didn’t really ache. Maybe it’s a testament to how easy pedalling a bike really is?’

For more details about the Great Tour, see thegreattour.co.uk.

Do you have a travelling adventure you would like to share? Email cyclinguk@jppublishing.co.uk for advice on what's required.

The Great Tour     Brighton     Road     Travel advice
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