Author Topic: I ❤ DB


I ❤ DB
« on: June 17, 2012 »
The British Heart Foundation's London-to-Brighton ride, in which 27,000 people have a collective palpitation about Ditchling Beacon, isn't for me, but the Beacon itself is. I liked the idea of tackling it free of cars for a change, so I cycled out there today — a 60 mile round trip just to go up a hill. To get my money's worth I went up it 5 times, having got there early enough so I wouldn't be a nuisance on the way down.

The first thing I heard upon arrival at base camp was a speedster exhorting his group "No heroics now." Later somebody made the ascent playing The Ride of the Valkyries. Shortly before saying my goodbyes to DB I heard a jolly fellow ask the marshalls "Is there a hill up ahead?" It was nice to witness an event with all sorts.

8 wheels good

The holiday brochure hadn't mentioned this

Left something at the bottom

Wishes he'd left something at the bottom

There's a difference between 800m and 800m up

Rescue vehicle for people whose knees were creaking loud enough to cause concern

Hoping the tannoy at the top would suffer a malfunction

The Olympic flame burned bright on the Beacon

The judges were not impressed by my gratuitous use of the hill

Somewhere north of Barcombe, on the way home, I paid a visit to the Blair Witch

Injury tally: fingers rubbed raw on brake levers


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Re: I ❤ DB
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012 »
Five times!  Recalls to me a certain nocturnal (well - matinal) episode back in 2006, when I was toiling up the first quarter of the Beacon, courtesy of SL and his merrie retinue ... and one Sam Walker of this parish came pelting down at a rate of knots, only to pass me on the up again as I was toiling up the second quarter of the Beacon....

Twice is quite a show, but five....?

I also remember letting slip a chance remark - which I later wish I hadn't - that I used to commute up the Beacon - something which (a) wasn't 100% true - just that I very occasionally took the longer route to work which included the Beacon, but usually I drove, and when cycling I usually went on the main road - and (b) I got taken the p*** for thereafter!

I have to admit I haven't been up the Beacon since 2006 - not by bike anyway.  I think it would kill me now, at my age, I have to be sensible here!  But I agree it's a splendid hill.  And you're rewarded with a superlative view at the top - well worth going up for especially if you catch it just as the mist is rising.

Far different from the fearsome Cob Lane (also in Sussex - near Ardingly).  At the top of that one (which I've never managed) all you get for your pains is a T-junction with a busy main road, and no view at all.  Been there, Sam?


Re: I ❤ DB
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012 »
That doesn't ring any bells. There are certainly hills I've not managed or even tried to scale, at least on ss, which is all I ride these days. Hogtrough just south of Biggin Hill made me get off and walk, and I took one look at nearby Saltbox and decided no thanks, at least with the traffic.

New England saltboxes are the worst

As for DB, the author of this

gives it a 6/10, calling it "the hill all non cyclists dread". It's fair to say a lot of cyclists aren't so fond of it either; the view up, directly after one has enjoyed the panorama from the false summit, is enough to make anyone's heart sink. Fortunately he gives the Lecht, which I've done with gears, a 10/10.

A hill doesn't even have to be that long to remain unconquered. All it takes is a short killer gradient.