We will gather from 8.30pm on Broad Street, Oxford, outside Balliol College (Oxford OX1 3BJ) and we'll leave at 9pm. Previously, we have arrived at the beach between 7 and 9 on Sunday morning.
The ride undulates but there are no mountains. People have completed on recumbents, fixies, commuting, mountain and road bikes. The ride is not fast but you do need to be comfortable riding a bike for long periods. You must be able to ride your bike for at least 100 miles. Riding through the night puts a strain on the mind and body that daylight riding doesn’t, please be considerate to your fellow riders and prepare well. 3AM is not the time to find out you’re not up to the challenge. Get yourself a buddy for the ride, we try to stay together as much as possible but the ride will go at the average group pace, not the slowest rider.
Virtually any kind of bike will do but good lights are essential. A cycle computer measuring in miles will help too. Bring warm clothes and lots of food and water (the photo of the naked woman opposite was taken at the top of a hill. We made sure she put her Buffalo on before heading back down). There is a kebab shop open in Marlborough at 40 miles and after that the whole world goes to sleep. It's also bedtime for bike shops, so make sure your bike is in tip-top shape and bring inner tubes and small tools to make running repairs.
The ride will happen whatever the weather. 2008 started on a rainy Saturday and finished in a blaze of Sunday sun on the beach. In 2010 the temp. dipped so low frost was seen on parked cars. There will be lots of hanging around and re-grouping so whatever the forecast gloves, waterproofs and spare warm layers for certain-sure!
The nearest mainline stations are Bournemouth and Brockenhurst which have direct trains running to Oxford and London (the ride to B.hurst. is far more pleasant). Bike spaces are limited so do book your ticket well beforehand and make sure you also get a bike reservation. Bournemouth is 10 miles, Brockenhurst 18.