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A proper Challenge - 960miles in 8 days starting 6th April 2013


We will try to keep our ride blog updated as we go along.  You can follow it here ;


This is our story..... 

It all started at a wedding for life long friends Richard Burt and Darren Nelson.  A few too many drinks and listening to Richard’s tales of cycling 280miles across the top of Scotland in 3 days inspired Darren to get on his old mountain bike to see if he still had it in him after many years of being out of the saddle.  The aim for them both was to ride the daunting Lands End to John O Groats in the near future.


“I used to race BMX in the 80’s and was good at it so I thought it would be a good challenge for me” admitted Darren.  “Me and Ric used to play football together and were also members of Preston Athletic club”


After a several rides on the mountain bike it became apparent that a road bike would be the only way to go and so Darren took the plunge.  What a change.  What was previously a struggle on a heavy knobbly treaded bike became easier and the miles dramatically increased as did the size of the hills!


Both Ric and Darren found themselves similarly matched in their cycling abilities which has been a great help with the training.  Back in June they both took part in the Manchester to Blackpool 60 mile event which was the first time Darren had done anything like this – Richard had done it the previous year.  They had set themselves a target time which they didn’t quite make but they did finish in 13th ( 3 Hrs 14mins ) and 17th place ( 3 Hrs 19mins ) and part of the `professional riders` according to the commentator which was amusing.  Darren was shattered but Richard rode back 30 further miles to meet up with the Bridegroom from the wedding that started this cycling thing off!


And then came the Tour de France.  Inspired by the Sky team we joined some cycle clubs to try to improve our fitness – Darren at Cleveleys Road Cycle Club and Richard at Chorley Cycle Club.


In August they both entered the Bradley Wiggins 100 mile Sportive starting in Barnoldswick.  Neither of them had ridden quite that far, nor climbed the amount of hills involved in it so it was a challenge.  Having ridden most of the hills involved separately during other training rides, they knew they were in for a tough challenge especially when a quarter of the climbing took place in the last 17 miles.  With Bradley also taking part himself, they were privileged to try to keep up with him for a mile.  `Try` being the key word here as he is rather fast!


And so came the planning of the big ride.  With both of them having families to consider it was decided that the ride will take place over 8 days and 960miles during the end of the Easter school holidays.  The first 4 days will be just the two of them.  The second half will see the 4 children joining them for moral support after a hard days cycling.


The route is Lands End – Oakhampton – Monmouth – Chirk – Leyland – Gretna – Helensburgh – Inverness – John O Groats.  960 miles and 61,000 feet of hills to climb ( just over 11.5 miles vertically! )


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Raised: 118%

Team target: £2,000.00

Raised so far: £2,363.60

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Darren Nelson

Darren's Little Bike Ride

37 donations



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Rickard Burt

Richard's mad ride from Lands End to John O Groats

66 donations



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