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At 3pm on the 16th September the countdown finished and I ran across the track “Le Mans” style and got on my bike for my first ever cyclo endurance event.
24 hours of Brands Hatch GP circuit. It was a perfect afternoon, not too hot or cold, it was dry and the forecast (last time I checked) was looking pretty promising.
After the first hour I had 9 laps under my belt ~(21 miles) and stopped to take on water, the weather was still good but clouds were gathering.
Back out on circuit I got 1 more lap in before the rain started and I quickly pitted for waterproofs.
4 laps later heading down from Druids hairpin into the Graham Hill bend I was too fast for the conditions and the bike suddenly disappeared from beneath me.
Travelling at 39mph it takes about 7 secs for my hip and my elbow to bring me to a stop. Adrenalin takes over and I quickly assess there’s ripped clothing and blood.
The ratchet on my shoe has come off completely but if figure out how to put it back together and get back on with the job of pedalling.
It takes another 4 laps before the adrenalin wears off and I realise I need to go in the pits and get checked out.
My hip looks like a strawberry burger and my elbow is the same.
Dressings are applied, tea is drunk and food consumed, 30 minutes later I am back out and conscious I have lost time 6 more laps and a 10 minute break, 6 more laps and its pizza time.
After this, things get a bit hazy, more laps are ridden but I am feeling sore and around 3am (the halfway point) I have managed to get back ahead of my target of 50 laps.
Only 50 laps left to do and still 12 hours to do it in. The problem is – nobody told my legs about this and after some time I end up with a visit to the physio team for a pummelling (massage?).
Finally warmed up and with some more food inside me I am back on track chasing the missing laps, I don’t have a chance at 100 laps now but I could pull off 300 kilometres and have a slim chance at 200 miles.
On lap (I have no idea which one), I am nearly off the bike a second time when the bottle holder loses a bolt and falls over into the path of the pedals, disaster averted I limp back to the pits to undertake repairs and cross my fingers for the last stint.
At the chequered flag I have:
- Ridden 192.5 miles (300 kilometres)
- Climbed 17,000 ft (5,000 metres)
- And raised over £2000 for Stick and Step all thanks to the generosity of family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and complete strangers.
Thank you all for your support – it kept me going!
This September i will be getting on my bike with the intention of cycling laps around the Brands Hatch GP circuit as many times as possible for a whole 24 hours. Other than toilet breaks and the need to get off and stretch i will be pedaling for a day. Many who know me will think not much of this - usual level of stupid....
But as i sign up for Revolve24 I am about as unfit as i have been - pretty much ever. In 2016 i got on my bikes about 5x, my legs are weak, my waistline is not where it should be and i doubt i can currently cope with more than an hour on a bike at the moment.
Previously i have ridden the GYBR (Wetherby to Filey) and back in one day (145 miles) and that was pretty tough even with some level of training. It is my hope to double this distance by covering 125 laps or more. This feels quite achievable until i start adding up the climbing..
Each lap has around 60m of climb across the overall undulation of the course, If i manage the 125 laps intended thats 7,500m (or 24,600ft in old money). This number makes me nervous, i usually climb these heights using a cable car.
Previously i have raised funds for Macmillan, RNIB (blind - not lifeboats) and cancer research. These big charities get a lot of regular support but this year, inspired by the Paralympic athlete David Stone i am supporting "Stick n step" (http://www.sticknstep.org/)
Stick 'n' Step works with children with cerebral palsy, and their families, from all over the North West of England and North Wales. Our goal is to help each child improve their independence, confidence and mobility through free conductive education. We do not receive funding from the NHS or government, so fundraise to ensure that our sessions are provided for free. Some children learn to sit up, some to stand, others to walk, run, and even play football. All gain immensely in self-confidence and independence.
Please help me to help them