First time attendance at Hell Of Ashdown Event, 6 of us travelled down from Leicestershire, joined 4 others from Epping under the guise Golden Oldies, setting off at 08:56. We all had a great day, the toughest cycling event most of us had attempted. Incredible challanges thrown at everyone involved, the early morning Black Ice, superbly marshalled, seem to bring the best out of most riders, communicating and shouting out warnings to others created genuine cameraderie. it was a real test not just negotiating a tortuous course with its ever depreciating road surfaces, but also trying to work alongside motorists, horse riders, etc throughout the beautiful green lanes of the South Downs. I said Hello to every marshall and thanked them for their efforts ..... I also shouted out some choice words to a minority of riders cycling selfishly past in their tunnel visioned race mode, causing chaos and danger to others, and pissing off other road users .... they were out of the way, and others suffered the wrath i.e aggressive car drivers, and even a horse rearing up like the Lone Ranger!! Typical. Congrats to all involved .... enjoyed seeing some quality riders on a superb course.Dean Jon Grewcock
The 9:30 - 10:00 starters were warned about ice and to take extra care and at least 3 Marshals mentioned this in the first few miles! well done and thank you all again, great event!! Paul Hastings
Thank you to all the organisers, marshals and especially the caterers. This was my first sportive on my first road bike.The black ice for the first 10 miles was a problem, involving a lot of walking, I was surprised to see so many about turn and head back, even though that meant going back over the same ice covered roads. I pressed on hoping the sun would kick in. I am a cautious rider anyway but was a disappointed with nearly two hours by 14miles. Once the going got better and the confidence came back the speed picked up and progress became much quicker. I now realise the route is designed to challenge the rider and it certainly tested my inexperience, luckily I didn't get a puncture.
Regarding mud guards, well I normally ride the road bike only when its fine otherwise the MTB is used, but it is worth considering.
Thanks again all.