Last year a friend of mine, Helen, took part in a 24 hour endurance cycling event and my husband and I went along as support and I rode two of the stages and my husband rode one. Anyway the whole event was organised so well and we both found it quite emotional and inspiring. So………….in a moment of madness I decided that rather than just help on a couple of stages I would like to give it a go myself and so this year I am part of a team of four amazing ladies (Helen, Laura, Kat and myself) and we will be taking on this challenge together.
Last week we booked our hotel for the night before and it is now all getting a bit real and sinking in that we actually have to cycle from Newcastle to London and that’s a really really really really really long way!
To just give some perspective on the distance it is 310 miles (498km). In 24 hours. Your reaction is probably similar to how I feel about it.
The event is organised by Ride 24 and they explain the event as follows:
Central London is the target – 310 miles due south. After an excited build up – 1,000 riders set out over the Tyne in 3 waves, past the Angel of the North and on to the Yorkshire Hills. Through York down to the Humber – then on to historic Lincoln and the welcome flat lands beyond.
The sun dips – night time arrives as we pass sleepy villages and speed through quiet countryside. Dawn breaks – the Capital’s skyline is soon in sight – as the finish approaches the clock seems to stand still – 24 hours?
310 miles in 24 hours. The route is split into 7 stages of approx 40/50 miles – with covered Rest Stops at the end of each leg to take on food & drink supplied by our specialist catering team – and to sort any repairs to bike & body!
As I was at the event last year I saw first hand how well it was organised with every rest stop having free drinks, food, gels and snacks. Unlike a normal sportive you do have to stop at every rest stop so they can scan you in and account for all participants. The routes are fully signed and there are pace riders taking part as well. Mechanics and medics are available the whole way and also vehicle support.
You finish in Smithfields Market in London and are greeted with a well earned medal and glass of bubbly (dear husband of mine please note I would like a bottle of the bubbly and not just a glass please and thank you).
Whilst the event is fully supported we will have my husband in a support car with our own little support crew who may even take it in turns to ride the odd stage with us (especially during the night stages where we could do with someone being loud and making sure we stay upright on the bikes!).
I am excited and nervous in equal measures and from now until August we will not be having many free weekends that are not occupied with bike training to ensure we are properly bike fit for this event.
The charity we are raising funds for is Macmillan Cancer Support a hugely worthwhile charity.
We have a fundraising page set up should anyone wish to sponsor us – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=Scrambled_legs_go_cycling&faId=656649&isTeam=true
Until then we will stock up on chamois cream although I am still sure that by August we will all be like old leather handbags (too much?).