Usually the most challenging part of the London to Brighton charity bike ride is getting up Ditchling Beacon (a 160m ascent in just 1,600m - ie a whole mile of steep up hill) but 2011 was different. Shortly after our tea and cake at the top, the heavens opened!
As we crossed the top of the South Downs, there was a gale blowing right to left, so that the rain was coming in sideways. The volume of rain was such that even our shoes were filling with puddles of water.
On the left, was a small but dense forest - and the conditions were so nasty, that people were jumping off their bikes and running under the trees for cover.
On the other side were fields of sheep ... and they were all lined up, back to the wind, with their noses against the fence, staring at us. No doubt they were thinking "you're all mad" - or perhaps "this is unusual, we don't normally have 27,000 cyclists coming past in the rain". Or maybe they were just trying to get to sleep by counting cyclists! We’ll never know.
We put our heads down, and remembered it was all in aid of a good cause: the British Heart Foundation.