Boyszone L ONDON is full of mountain bikers frustrated by the capitals utter lack of mountains to grind up and zoom down. Which is why when we were on the M3 heading o u t o f t h e c i t y t o wa r d s Winchester for the start point of the BHF (British Heart Foundation) South Downs Way Randonee Challenge the weekend before last, it seemed like every other car had bikes strapped to the roof, too. The challenge is to cycle 100 miles off- road in a day, along the South Downs from Winchester to Eastbourne. The hilly route involves climbing 10,000ft: the equivalent of cycling up Ben Nevis three times. You can also sign up for 35 or 65 miles, or you can do sections of the ride any time on your own. Goyourownway YOU neednt wait for a race day to enjoy the glorious 100-mile South Downs Way track, just an hours drive out of town. Why not head down there for a cycling weekend and tackle a short stretch each day, punctuated by a long pub lunch? Weve marked some good pubs on our map for inspira- tion and youll find lots o f p r e t t y B & B s i n t h e l o c a l a r e a ( s e e visitsouthdowns.com). Startersorders UNFORTUNATELY my sporty friend Patch wasnt interested in taking things easy having recruited me as a buddy for the 100-mile challenge. Even the 35-miler is for experienced mountain bikers only. Im not that, but I do ride about 20 miles a week in London. I bor rowed a GPS, was given a Megamouth hydration rucksack by North Face and the excellently helpful Cyclelife chain lent me a fancy Raleigh Diamondback bike. Wed signed up months before -- you pay 35 and have to raise at least 50 for the BHF -- so we checked in and were each given a white wristband and an orange number to stick on our bikes. Despite all my new gear I still felt decid- edly amateurish at the 6am start, where hundreds of helmeted cyclists mingled in the mist. Most of these were men with superbly muscular calves wearing bright leotards (cycling fashion will never trouble the high street). We set off. Soon Patch and I were just two more quietly whooshing car- riages in the spectral caravan of fog-bound cyclists. The monster hills were difficult on the dirt tracks -- much tougher than Tarmac -- but bear- able. Zooming downhill at 30mph was exhilarat- ing. We were apparently missing some spectacular views, but it was eerily serene in the fog. Ridingforafall I FELL first just before the 20-mile checkpoint. Or actually, I threw myself off rather than hit a fence, after trying and failing to brake on wet grass. I was fine, but went downhill a little more gingerly after that. The checkpoints were happy oases of water and portable toilets. At one, a beautiful woman gave me and Patch a Mars bar each, at another a helpful child offered us sunscreen. After 20 miles, hot sun blasted though the fog. The white chalk track snaked brightly through woods and fields of wheat. After another long climb, there were colossal views of flat southern England, and the bumpy Downs ahead. Our fellow cyclists became cheerier, and banana 12 Tuesday, 7 July 2009 London Lite The Lite guy guide to throwing a Frisbee Flying high: learn how to catch and throw a Frisbee properly MOUNTAIN BIKING ON THE SOUTH Gear up for the ride of your life LAZY afternoons in the park call for summer games. Here, Ed Shardlow of the Ultimate Frisbee team Thundering Herd (thunderingherd.co.uk) offers some throwing tips... Disc Frisbees are more stable if they have more weight in the rim. The extra weight means it flies more accurately, too. Throwing There are various ways to throw a disc. The best throws need lots of spin to increase the stability of the disc, so work on snapping your wrist or flicking your fingers. Catching Fancy catches are more likely to lead to drops -- and in Ultimate that means a turnover and some unhappy team-mates -- so wherever possible use two hands to catch the disc either pancake or steering wheel. Getting involved Its a very inclusive non-contact sport that appeals to men and women, with lots of support for beginners. There are lots of teams in London, see londonultimate.com EIFION REES BY ANGUS WATSON Hell of a hill: Angus experiences the pain of the steep uphill climb Premier Direct Current Account: Limit of one current account from our Premier range per person. Applicants may not apply for a Premier account which they currently hold or have held in the past 3 months. Applicants must be a UK resident. (Channel Island and Isle of Man residents are excluded). Account opening depends on your circumstances. Offer subject to availability. 5.84% gross/6.00% AER (fixed) for 1 year. After 1 year we pay 1.00% gross AER (variable) on balances up to 2,500. Balances over 2,500 earn 0.10% gross/AER (variable). 500 monthly funding required or fees may be applied. Credit transfer from other Alliance & Leicester accounts will not count towards the monthly credit. Interest paid daily and added to account monthly. E-mail address compulsory. AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and shows what the interest rate would be if we paid interest and added it to your account each year. The gross rate is the interest rate we pay before income tax is taken off. For details of our fees and interest rates, visit alliance-leicester.co.uk or pick up a leaflet at any branch. Telephone calls are recorded and may be monitored for security, quality control and training purposes. Alliance & Leicester plc. Registered office: Carlton Park, Narborough, Leicester LE19 0AL. Company number 3263713. Registered in England. Alliance & Leicester plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Our FSA register number is 189099. CA3209/LS 06/09 Visit branch, click alliance-leicester.co.uk or call 0800 678 1724 A current account with high interest Alliance & Leicester is now part of the Santander Group, which has more than 150 years experience in banking, and more branches worldwide than any other international bank. %AER(fixed)6For 1 year (1% AER variable after 1 year) on balances up to 2,500. 0.10% AER (variable) on balances over 2,500. Minimum age 21. 500 monthly funding (or fees may apply). Internet access required. Premier Direct Current Account index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html