1,436miTOTAL IN 15 DAYS
130.8MIBIGGEST RIDE IN ONE DAy
96MIAVG MILEAGE PER DAY FOR 15 DAYS
16,400FTBiggest Climb in One Day
If you haven’t already heard, I’m going to be cycling 2,319km solo and unsupported around Vancouver Island, Canada in July 2014. Over the two weeks that I am to complete the ride in, I’ll be climbing the height of Everest a mere 5 times, carrying everything I need for the entire trip on me at all times (that’s an extra 35 kilos of weight!).
It’s never been done before, which makes it all the more exciting! I don’t really know whether I should turn to Ray Mears or Chris Hoy for any help!
So, am I mad?
After completing my first cycling challenge in Spring 2013; a 4 day ride across the deserts and mountains of United Arab Emirates with fellow rider Jason Roberts, I felt like something was missing with nothing now to aim for. It wasn’t until a trip to Canada to visit family I found inspiration in the form of an old man pedaling like a maniac up a 5km climb with a 20% gradient on a touring bike, he was absolutely soaked from the immense storms lashing at the island that day. Despite being offered lifts by passing cars he continued to battle the mountain, refusing to be beaten. It was that moment I set myself another harebrained challenge; why not cycle solo and unsupported around Vancouver Island.
The ride is in aid of Norfolk Cancer Charity The Big C, who do some amazing work to improve the lives of those affected by cancer in the Norfolk & Waveney area. I’ll also be lending a charitable hand to The British Colombia Cancer Foundation, allowing those in the Vancouver area to donate money to a cause which is a little bit closer to home. The inspiring stories from the great work these charities have done will be the fuel that will motivate me on this epic challenge.
To make a difference to these charities and the families they help, I really want to raise £25,000 for the Big C and $25,00 for BCC. This is where I need your help and is what will make the whole challenge worth it. You can also donate by buying one of the limited edition jerseys kindly designed and supplied by Decca Uk as pictured below. All proceeds of these snazzy £39* jersey will go straight to either The Big C or BC Cancer Foundation, it’s your choice. If you’re interested message me on Facebook!
*£39 excluding P&P, slightly more for international orders (P&P up to approx £7-8)
Once setting my heart on the challenge it was time for me to decide on a route, and I was initially hit with a lot of barriers. The north and west of the island are extremely remote, often without any roads; being covered by vast forests and mountain ranges. As a result it took months of research, scouring road maps and making my eyes bleed searching Google satellite images; the map you can see is the fruit of this labour and I am thrilled to be able to share this with you so you can see what I will be up against.
It was then time to get training. This meant countless painful gym sessions, runs, and a total of 4,000 miles on my bike over the course of the year. This included the UK’s toughest 3 day sportive, The Tour of Wessex, the hardest one day The Fred Whitton Challenge, as well as a week of mountain cycling in Majorca and dozens of over 100 mile sportives. These have been a great way to get me ready for the challenge – though I know they will pale in comparison to what lies ahead in Canada.
The devised route for the challenge will take me across 2,319 km (1,436 miles in old money). To put this in perspective I’ll be riding just 14 km less than the Tour De France challengers over the same period, but instead of tarmac I’ll be riding along logging tracks and hiking trails with an added 35 kilos of weight made up of my camping gear, food, water, tools and clothes. Unlike the Tour De France challengers I will not have the luxuries of a hotel bed or someone to carry all my stuff; I’ll be camping in the wild and hoisting my food up a tree so that the bears – yes, bears – can’t get to it.
Thanks for taking the time to read about the challenge, and do please donate all you can to these fantastic causes – after all, that’s why I’m doing it!