If you’ve missed the fact that Shayne and the Adam Team did a 200 mile charity cycle race to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, then you’re either dead, or not on either Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!
I was asked to do a de-brief for the team on the experience of riding that far, with no support or aid and having spent an entire weekend pulling my thoughts together, it’s just to big to put into one de-brief. 14hrs of riding, distilled into ten minutes is really hard. So what I’ve decided to do is pop them into a couple of blogs, hopefully going down a summation of the experience / memorable events, lessons that I’ve learned (still thinking about this) and the kit we used / nutrition (for the guys & girls who are into this type of thing).
Timeline of events:
3am – So I woke up, surprisingly bright and breezy at 3am. Firstly, to start nutrition, with a cold bowl of overnight oats with Protein Powder. I also had to toil on the bike, foolishly I’d put a new tire and inner tube in the day before, which promptly burst due to the heat of the day previously. Then there was the nutrition and close to 3 litres of fluids to sort out, which would be enough to get me to the first scheduled drinks stop
4am – At 4am Matt and I loaded the car with our various supplies and hit the road to the start point at the central Manchester office, avoiding the tempting possibility of setting off from my house instead
5am – Le Grande Départ – picking our way through Manchester’s very varied night time wild life, including foxes and leathered party goers, we set off from the office. Pulling away, not really knowing the adventure that would lay before us.
6am through Stockport – by 6am we were well through the other side of the city, and into the country roads – just the small matter of climbing through the peak district to tackle. Easy peasy…
6.34am – reached the highest point of the ride and the top of Long Hill, aptly named as it’s not particularly steep, but climbs for nearly 7km, really fun to blast up (see Ian Stannard in the tour of Britain 2016) but today Matt and I would be really limiting our effort.
8am – Through the worst of the hills – just after 8am we’d reached Ashbourne and were well and truly through the hardest parts and the bulk of the days climbing. I’m not sure whether this was positive, as at least you have a comfortable ride down the other side and some variety, on the flat- it’s relentless pedalling and relentless on the mind.
10am – Tamworth – we got lost. We were achingly close to the first proper stop off point, a brew and some good food. Obviously we chose this point to get lost, and take extra time and mileage to find our stop.
11.15am – First stop off – the very kind, Ann and Alan, friends of mine and my wife had kindly agreed to let us post some much needed nutrition and supplies to their house to allow us to re-stock and get some food on for the next leg of our journey.
12.05 – 147km, from here I was stepping into the unknown and the into the furthest I’d ever ridden.
1.30pm – Psychological boost to see the first sign for London!!!! Though it did say 82 miles to go!!!
15.30 – PUNCTURE – semi disaster, which could’ve been much worse really. We’d made good progress down the A5, when I hit something on the road and punctured my front tyre, while travelling 25mph, which was a bit tricky to bring to standstill. Unfortunately, it was at this point we’d found out the race was lost
16:00 – Milton Keynes – Anyone who has been to Milton Keynes will probably understand our pain here. We decided that having already lost, and in need of a good meal, we’d venture into MK. Having plotted a route around the town to try avoid being held up by its multiple roundabouts, but also to avoid the A5 which turns into somewhat of a motorway at that point, this was somewhat of an error. We were quickly lost, disorientated by its multiple roundabouts and grass verges which disguise any points of interest, starving, low on sugar and in trouble. We assessed the situation and plumbed for a romantic meal of coke and flapjack for me, while Matt opted for a delicious wrap meal, at the side of a Shell garage.
We quickly plotted our way out of MK, and picked our way nervously round the roundabout and resumed onwards towards Dunstable and then St.Albans, letting out a cheer when our pre-planned route reappeared on my Garmin, meaning we were on track and on the quickest route to London
18:30 – M25/St Albans – despite being on the road for over 12 hours, we were now flying. Hitting speeds of over 25mph, Matt and I were working together well again, back in the flow and able to get a good rhythm to share the work load. Once we’d gone under the M25 and were technically in London, I celebrated, it was a great psychological boost to be in “London” althought the suburbs of Barnett.
19.45 – London office arrival. Leon had arranged a finish line, beers and food for our weary bodies. I think that you can see from the twitter video that it was quite overwhelming and a pretty emotional end to a very long day. We crashed at 11pm after a few beers and some pizza, utterly goosed after a very long day.
Congratulations to the Adam and Clients team who covered the distance in 9.5hrs. It was a brilliant performance, with a few people in the office still feeling the effort in their legs – you can really tell that everyone pulled together and pushed the pedals hard for each other.
Thanks firstly to Victoria and Leanne who organised a brilliant event, from sponsorship, to promotional material, to bikes for the office, to arranging food for participants- without them we wouldn’t have raised anywhere near that amount of money. Thanks to everyone that has sponsored us on our quest, the funds are really needed by the RMCH to continue the miraculous work they do, it really motivated Matt and myself to hear that the total was creeping up.
If you haven’t sponsored and would like to then there’s still time: