I would never class myself as a serious cyclist, but I have been lucky enough to end up doing lots of different things on lots of different types of bike over the years.
Like most kids of ‘my era’ (the ’70s), I grew up riding bikes from as young as I can remember. By my early teens I had progressed through an indestructible Raleigh Grifter, and by the time I was regularly doing paper-rounds, we built up our own bikes that we called Trackers around steel road frames, rio (reinforced) wheels, knobbly tyres, with a fixed ultra-low gear single speed setup.
Late teens and early 20s brought work, marriage and other commitments that distracted from cycling, and it was only when my wife (Jane) bought me an entry level Specialised Mountain Bike, that I rediscovered a forgotten love.
Since then, I’ve had a go at as much as I can, and being lucky enough to live near the Velodrome has meant I’ve done the three ‘T’s – having been on trail, track and tarmac. I’ve never ridden seriously, but often competitively (usually against myself).
Here’s a list of some of my more memorable cycling achievements:
- Manchester to Blackpool Bike Rides (numerous since 1987)
- Calderdale X-Cross Mountain Bike Marathon
- Solo 24-hour Sea-2-Sea (Whitehaven to Sunderland)
- Arnhem to Berlin (“Midlife Cyclists” 5-day group ride)
- Bordeaux to Paris (“Midlife Cyclists” 6-day group ride)
- Solo Mont Ventoux ascent (from Bédoin)
- Mow Cop – the Killer Mile
- Manchester Velodrome Track Cycling Accreditation
- VeloCity 24h Track Cycling Charity Events (Manchester City & British Cycling)
- A “100 miles uphill” from Cheadle Hulme to Betws-Y-Coed!
- Sufferfest “Tour of Sufferlandria 2013”
- Solo Lands End to John O’Groats ride (read the blog articles for more!)
- Sea-2-Sea “Dawn to Dusk” ride with best mate (June 2015)
My cycling has been curtailed since the Dawn-to-Dusk ride in 2015, due to a problematic left Achilles, which was operated on in August 2016. Not sure what the future holds, but I intend to get back to my riding as soon as I can.
UPDATE: I just finished Sufferfest: Tour Of Sufferlandria 2017 – I’m chuffed to bits to be back in the game!
Chris (Updated 12 Feb 2017)