bikebritain Says June 28, 2011
Simply, 'Thank You'
RIDE24, 18th & 19th June, 2011, Goodwood Motor Circuit
First things first; we did it!
Team bikebritain completed 183 laps or 439 miles in 24 hours, braving both blustery winds and driving rain. At the time it was difficult to know if this was a 'good' performance, but consider this; we were a scratch team, none of us had entered an event like this before and none had even raced aside from a dabbling with a Triathlon a week previous. We found our level early on and we were towards the top of ten teams that were within about 15 miles of each other. Interestingly we needed to complete another 4-5 laps to join the next group of teams; so my bold prediction after 6 hours of racing that we would go 'Top 20' seems alittle unfounded. Nevertheless, we completed RIDE24 ahead of others, safely and in one piece and most importantly of all, raised in excess of £1200 plus gift aid in the process.
This feat could not have been achieved without the help of family, friends and sponsors alike. Family provided moral support during the event when spirits needed lifting. It was very touching capturing Swazy's family cheering their Dad round the circuit. I received a big hug from my family at the end, making it all worthwhile. Friends sent messages of goodwill and pledged money towards our target. Our sponsors.....well they gave generously to a worthy cause. I should add that some folks who gave the most, have the least themselves. If every team raised this amount then AMR will be about £75,000 better off; that's money that will be invested in research into illnesses that afflict sick children.
Whilst there was never any doubt that we would not complete the race, there were some personally challenging times, especially during the night sessions. Of course this is the whole point of the race - that you are doing something that pushes you and makes this effort to raise money for others, special. Cycling around Goodwood in the pitch black, but for the rear lights of other cyclists faintly glowing in the dark firmly puts things in perspective. I've not felt that tired for a long time. From memory, the last time I deliberately stayed awake all night was 18 months ago during the birth of Brendan, which, given the cause, was quite fitting.
The guys I talked/bothered into doing this with me deserve a mention. What a sterling effort! Luke had only had his Trek 3 months prior to lining up on the starting grid (well transition zone, technically). When he agreed I knew he'd be there standing at the end, come what may. Malc and Swazy know me well enough to know that the moment they said 'Yes' I would be on at them to gather sponsorship. Yet they still signed up - and whats more said they'd do it again! By the way, I'm thinking of organising 2 teams for 2012.....anyway thanks guys, what a terrific team effort.
I should applaud the Marshalls and AMR race organisers. They all did a great job, kept spirits high and more importantly administration to a minimum. Whats more, they clapped and cheered at the dead of night and early morning. The food provided was also excellent, a 24 hour feast on hand. I remember eating dinner/breakfast/lunch at 03.00 in the morning just getting carbs in ready to be used 30 minutes later. Thanks to 'Extreme Catering'; great effort.
Originally I had planned to share with you my version of what had happened during those 24 hours, but having read Lukey's account, I don't need to bother. He has eloquently captured the spirit of the day - so if you can, take a few minutes to digest his view on things. Oh, and if you want a laugh, have a look at the latest video. All I need to say, finally, on behalf of Team bikebritain is thank you to everyone who supported us and AMR. We really do appreciate it. Until next year......
Words, thumbnail and slider image - bikebritain Ltd