Mark and Kellie’s Charity Bike Ride Challenge
We arrived at Clapham Common, London around 8pm and after checking in we grabbed a bite to eat and rested on the green until we were called up to start. We gathered at the start line at 11.30pm and as they were letting a few hundred past the start line at a time it was about 11.45pm before we got going.
Going through London was frustrating with lots of stop and starts due to busy roads and traffic lights etc. – so we were glad to finally get out of London. However, we then had to tackle pitch dark country roads which was slightly eerie at times when no other cyclists were around.
We had a designated stop at 12 miles in which we grabbed water and the toilet and made our way again after 5 minutes – we were advised not to stop for too long as the risk of injury is far greater when the muscles cool down.
The next stop was around 27 miles and as we were hot from cycling on this warm night, by stopping I became cold and started shivering. With exhaustion setting in we felt worse for stopping, so with a quick energy drink down us we set off again!
By listening to music and spurring each other on we kept going feeling like the worst part was done and we were going to do this! Again with many hills this section felt really tough but we kept a good pace going and made the most of the down hills!
The last stop was around 42 miles and the sun was rising. Again with plenty of water drunk we set off and enjoyed the dawn breaking over the countryside; knowing we were nearly there made us both feel a new burst of energy and positivity.
As we passed the signpost for Brighton and Hove we could not help but feel emotional, with a real buzz that we had almost made it. Coming into Brighton there were huge hills which we found physically tough after a long night and many of us cyclists began walking up the steeper hills. This was nice as we all began chatting and comparing aches and pains!
Downhill and approaching Brighton pier we could see the finish line and emotions were running high – we passed the line holding hands and a few tears were shed too(me being a girl of course!!) It was 6.30am and we had made it!
The whole build up to the event and the reason why we were doing this topped with pure exhaustion made this even more special that we had achieved it. I know Allan – Mark’s dad – would have been proud and we were too. Something we have never done before and by far the toughest thing we have done but it was all for a good cause and we are glad we did it.
It took us 6 hours 45 minutes and we raised £1100 for the British Heart Foundation, for which we are grateful to all our friends and family for the generous donations.
Not sure if we would do this ride again or not – but we will definitely keep doing something now we have done this and keep supporting worthwhile causes.