Brighton pioneers the pre-marathon 50k ride

Velocity enjoys an early morning spin on closed roads at the seaside.

Brighton pioneers the pre-marathon 50k ride

The city of Brighton took an applaudable and replicable step towards uniting cyclists with other road users when it hosted the first ever BM Ride - a 50km affair before the Brighton Marathon runners took over.

The event, the first of its kind, drew some 2,000 cyclists, who gathered at Hove Lawns for a 7am start in chilly but clear conditions. The route took riders along broadly the same roads as runners would take a couple of hours later, with the thrill of passing through "red" traffic lights and along closed roads in a steady stream. The start was staggered, with riders were separated into three groups, and there were medals for all those who finished - many on mountain bikes, Bromptons, tandems and electric bikes as well as roadies.

Tom Naylor, managing director of Grounded Events (who managed to organise V editor David Taylor's late entry), said the company sees the event very much as a test on which to develop into 2020 and onwards.

"I hope we can attract a similar crowd as we do in the Marathon, with some hardcore elites enjoying the event alongside some absolute beginners, and everyone in between," he told Velocity.