Trio to cycle from London to Edinburgh... and back again

Horry Hemsley by Lawrence Watts
Horry Hemsley by Lawrence Watts

Three Lewes Wanderers CC members will set out on one of the most challenging cycling events in Britain on July 28.

One thousand riders from 33 countries will cycle 1,400 kilometres from London to Edinburgh and back again. The rides have to be completed in a maximum of five days.

The organisers summarise the event as “riding through some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, (riders) will rely on self-sufficiency, camaraderie, and the hospitality of hundreds to complete an epic cycling challenge.”

The brave Lewes triumvirate are chairman Chris Martin, seasoned 24-hour rider and club distance record holder Paul Gibbons and Michael Turner, whose longest ride to date has been Kent’s 12-hour.

All three have been clocking mile upon mile of training for an event which requires not only fitness but also meticulous preparation and planning to cover all eventualities.

John Miller was down to ride but an unfortunate racing crash resulted in a shattered collarbone to accompany his shattered dreams. John’s chances of competing appear slim, but he is not completely out of the reckoning.

If the current heatwave continues, riding conditions will prove tough and some riders may elect to cycle on well into the night to find refuge in cooler conditions offered. Progress of all three riders can be tracked on the event’s excellent website at

Five Lewes riders cycled a mere 25 miles in Brighton Excelsior time trial on Sunday.

Despite a tough course some riders put in fast times, which saw Lewes grab the team prize through Pete Morris (55:35), Phil Allen (56:05) and Sam Ramsey (1:01:08). Other Lewes times: Michael Valks (1:01:44), Alan Lloyd (1:04:37) and 79-year-old, Horry Hemsley, who won his age category in a time of 1:41:11.

Overall honours went to Steve Kane, of Brighton Excelsior, in a fast time of 52:56.

Pictured above: Horry Hemsley in race action. Picture taken by Lawrence Watts.