It is no secret that I am a keen cyclist. I take part in social riding, commuting and also coach beginning race techniques. Although you still need to test yourself from time to time and so I have signed up to my next big adventure; cycling from Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in 24 hours.
Yes, that is 265 miles within 24 hours!
About the ride
Connecting the two capitals via bike is actually a common ride for seasoned cyclists, however many take a few days to complete it, fewer take on the challenge to complete it in one hit over one day.
I will be part of a ten man team, made up of Hadleigh Cycling Club members, we will set off from London at 20:30 on the 27th June 2015 and all being well and good will re-assemble in the shadow of the French monument no later than half past eight on the Sunday evening.
Providing a purpose
The challenge started as personal goal for a few of the club members but we soon realised that if we were to succeed we needed a team to share the work load. So the feelers went out and surprisingly cyclists came forward to take part. The fools!
Training for the event started back last year with some gentle miles during the Autumn and Winter. During which we spoke about trying to put a purpose to the ride and why not use it as a mechanism to raise money for a cause.
It was decided that we should support the Brendan Oakes Trust, a local Hadleigh based charity.
About the Trust
The trust was set up by the parents of Brendan following his passing from cancer, it aims to provide a better standard of living for those children battling with cancer, from make a wish days to funding activities. Speaking to those involved, one item kept on repeating; the hospital wards are not exactly the most inspiring places to be. So we had our challenge, to raise money to renovate the ward and bring a little bit of joy into the lives of those who could really do with a brighter outlook.
Now the ride had a purpose we turned focus to support and ensuring we stood a chance of completing the challenge. Lucky for us Suffolk has named 2015 as it’s year of cycling and the Hadleigh Cycling Club had already been working with Suffolk County Council on some road safety schemes.
After a few meetings and some public relation work we have a motorcycle outrider, just like in the Tour de France, a mini bus and a sign written support van to carry spare parts and fuel during the ride.
Planning the route
To tackle the ride I am breaking this into two separate rides. One ride will take me from London to Dover and cover about 80 miles. Then I get a couple of hours break, unfortunately the clock is still running. Upon reaching French soil the second ride begins, a 185 mile ride south towards Paris and the goal.
Having taken part in a couple of endurance event in the past I know the big hurdle is going to be mental and so we will stop every 40 miles or so just for 15 minutes. Taking on more food and water and a chance to try a standing for a bit, then it is back on the bike for another 40 miles. This way you only need to ride for 40 miles; ok you have to do this quite a few times but when morale is low and things look bleak just remember that it is only 40 mile blocks.
It is going to be an extremely difficult challenge and it will no doubt put me in places where I’m outside my comfort zone.
Please visit the teams charity page and consider making a donation, it really would make a huge difference to those in most need.