On September 25th 2011, I completed an eighty five mile cycle in aid of Alzheimer’s and raised a total of £272.00. Thanks again to those who sponsored me.
Cycling has been a personal hobby of mine from a young age. Before training properly for the cycle challenge, I was cycling to the shops, university, town and friends’ houses.
I started off with a mountain bike, but switched to a road bike mid-way through the training.
I signed up to the challenge nine weeks before it was due to start. I didn’t pre-set myself any weekly mileage goals, but I wanted to get close to the eighty five mile distance. Prior to the challenge, the furthest I had cycled was sixty miles. Below is a record of my mileage.
At the time of training, I wasn’t in University but I was employed temporarily for 7 hours a day from August onwards. The second week of training is me cycling to work and back during the week, with a short trip on the Saturday.
After this, I would either go for a long cycle before or after work, and sometimes both during the week along with a long cycle on the weekend.
I didn’t cycle as often in the week leading up to the challenge - this was to avoid any injuries and fatigue.
Living in Bristol allowed me to train on the route. Prior to the challenge, I cycled it in sections over the space of a few days. This gave me a massive confidence boost when it came to cycling the route in one go.
The route tracked the Avon cycleway (regional route 10) with a slight deviation for lunch and a slightly different route towards the finish.
This is the map we were given for the event, apparently its copyright Alzheimer’s.
There were two water stops on the route, these included refreshments such as jelly beans, bananas, tracker bars and other goodies. We also stopped for lunch near Saltford, where sandwiches and hot drinks were provided.
On the day it was raining until the last 20 miles or so, when the sunshine was much appreciated.
Equipment and support
I was carrying a mini pump, bike tools, my phone, spare inner tubes, a puncture repair kit, water, food and clothes. This is generally what I carry on every cycle. The organisers also had a support van circling the route in case of any emergencies or problems.
I had a very much needed shower, along with a well-deserved meal at a carvery courtesy of my parents. I also cycled to University for the first day of term on the following Tuesday.
It took me just over 4 hours to complete, this excludes time taken for lunch and at the water stops. I was lucky enough not to suffer any bike problems on the day. The distance cycled was around nighty four miles, as I had cycled to the event and home again. There have been times when I regret not making the one hundred mile mark, but there are plenty more opportunities for me to do this.