5-a-day Go Cycling
by 5-a-day Finbar
On Sunday 28th April I took part in the 27th ‘On Your Bike’ charity 45 mile cycle ride organised by the Rotary club of Gravesend. Every year hundreds of cyclists participate in this popular event to raise money for The Ellenor Lions Hospice. As this was the first time I had ridden in a large event I enlisted the help of a local cycle club, CCCP Cycling, whose members gave me lots of useful advice and let me ride with them on the day.
The most important thing I learnt is that teamwork is crucial when cycling; riders will often bunch together and take it in turns to be the cyclist at the front. Due to air resistance the cyclists at the back of the group find it easier as they sit in the slipstream of the lead rider. The team will do better if all riders take turns at the front of the group.
Having made sure we had enough food and water with us we set off at 8am sharp. The weather was good and the atmosphere between all the riders was inspiring. The first 10 miles were easy, but around mile 26 there was a very large hill to cycle up. The climb was a struggle, but I was determined to push to the top and not have to get off and walk. It was slow going but I made it in the end! In true team spirit the other members of the club waited for me at the top. At the refreshment stop provided by the event organisers I ate my banana, and we refilled our water bottles.
After 35 miles I started to get tired and my legs began to ache, and by mile 40 I was all but ready to give up. But my team gathered round me and encouraged me to carry on. With only a few miles to go, newly energized by the support of the team, I found extra strength to push on until the finish. I even managed a little sprint at the end, boosted by the waiting crowd. I completed the 45 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes and 40 seconds.
I’d very much like to thank the members of CCCP Cycling for letting me ride with them, and for all the advice and support. Here’s to many more rides! Maybe next time I’ll try for 100 miles….
Keep on Having fun and getting fit,
Thanks also to the rotary club of Gravesend of organising such a great day.
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