Manchester to London Charity Bike Ride. 230 miles. 1 day.
Ambitious about Autism
On 2nd September 2018, I cycled 230 miles (and climbing over 3,000m/10,000ft) from Manchester to London, in one day.
I did it last year, setting off at 6am from the Manchester Velodrome, it took me 16hrs 34mins. Towards the end of the ride I tried to sit on my own testicles to ease the pain caused by sitting on my backside. I couldn’t sit comfortably for 4 days afterwards, and was pulling eschar/scabs from unmentionable places for a week after that (too much information….)*
In previous charity efforts, I’ve cycled the height of Everest; cycled 900km round 5 European countries in four days and this year completed the hardest climb in cycling, Mont Ventoux in the French Alps. The Manchester to London is the hardest day of cycling I have ever done. And this year I needed to beat last year’s time.
But…..it’s for an equally huge cause. The ride is to raise awareness, and money for the Charity ‘Ambitious about Autism‘. (The JustGiving page will be live here from 20th August)
The day is designed to be the toughest day imaginable as an insight into how difficult Autism is to live with. Every day. Over 11% of children in the UK suffer with Autism, often seen as the silent disability. Social exclusion and greatly diminished academic achievement are only two of the issues children with Autism face.
Ambitious about Autism is charity supporting Children and Young People with Autism, helping them, providing life changing services as well as raising awareness and understanding. Their aim is to significantly reverse the negative life impact children with Autism suffer, and prepare them to live fulfilled, independent lives.
I have several friends with Autistic children, and my brother-in-law is likewise Autistic. We have seen first-hand how great the impact of this condition can be, and even more so, how much misunderstanding and ignorance there is.
I undertook the task of spending 16 hours in the saddle to share that hardship for just one day, all I ask is that you make it worth it by making even a small donation towards this amazing, life changing charity.
The 2018 ride took us 15 hours, 19mins – over an hour and 20mins quicker than last year, with actual ride time of 12 hours 48mins.
15hrs 19mins gave me a top 10 time (out of over 200 people), and 4th quickest on the King of the Mountains climb. Not bad for an old, little fella!
*Remember I said I couldn’t sit for 4 days (and the scabs issue…?), well 3 days after completing this M2L ride, I ride 800km over 4 days to cycle the four corners of Wales (and riding to/from Wilmslow) on a follow-up charity ride with Ava’s school. I really do putt my arse on the line….
Training / Nutrition & Diet
Fitness and power-to-weight is the secret to cycling. That takes training and nutrition focus.
I’ve ridden 9,327km this year (as of 20th August), a mixture of endurance rides and short interval training (I’m happy to provide more information for anyone interested.)
Highlights have seen me take part in the Tour de Yorkshire (130km/2,000m)
Cycle the infamous Mont Ventoux whilst on holiday 21km/2000m high
I’ve had my ups…and downs (yes, that’s my ambulance)!
Diet plays a huge part. I started my training in March at 64.5kg. I targeted 62kg, but got down to 60.7kg (and 5% body fat) by June. Fuelling the body whilst reducing body-fat is key.
I use a well proven program of Cut & Bulk days to reduce body fat but protect my metabolism and prevent a starved body from storing fat (like generic low-calorie diets do)…whilst protecting muscle power. (Again, I’m happy to provide more information for anyone interested…I’m also happy to tailor the nutrition plan I followed for anyone sponsoring me!)
Whilst my weight went from 64.5kg to 60.7kg, my FTP (Functional Threshold Power) went from 245w to 276w, improving my power to weight from 3.7w/kg to 4.5w/kg.