Fundraiser Focus: Dreamflight Cycling Challenge
David Finch, MD at Purple Frog & Make a Donation and team member of one of our previous star fundraisers, Haddenham Hillbillies, took on the ultimate cycling challenge for charity – 240 miles within 24 hours…
Well, it’s done! 240 miles on a bicycle for Dreamflight – in fact, 244 miles to be precise.
As you may have read in my previous blog posts, the cycling challenge was to do it within 24 hours and this was well beaten – the finishing time was 20 hours 46 minutes. It all started at 2pm on 31st July and even though I had worked out a schedule for every 11 miles (in effect each lap of Lake Vyrnwy), nervous energy meant that the early pace was over 17 mph. This lasted well into the 6th lap and the 70 mile mark!
The bet was for me to cycle this immense distance from the front – riding on my own, which I did, only suffering the occasional plea to slow down from those behind. In total, 6 of us cycled the full distance and it was no easier for those behind or the others that joined through the night. Any benefit they gained from drafting behind me was rudely taken away once midnight had passed.
At first, the light rain was a blessing as it kept the midges at bay. But as the night progressed, the rain got heavier and heavier. By 4am, with 150 miles down, it really decided to show us who was boss. For two solid hours it threw it down so much that parts of the road started to merge into the lake!
The worst moment was probably between 5am and 6am – I couldn’t clip my right foot into the peddle, I had cramp in my right leg and I couldn’t see through my glasses. In the end I took them off, which based on my eyesight prescription gave me about 5 yards of visibility. Still, at least this was 4 yards more than when wearing them!
My clothes were so wet it was impossible to warm up and by the time I got round to the feed station, I was even incapable of using the brakes properly, crashed and nearly fell off. This was the cue to change clothes. It was still raining, but I could at least put on a new top and coat under our gazebo, as well as shoes that would clip in properly.
It sort of stopped raining when battle re-commenced, but by now the average speed had dropped to around 13 mph. This wasn’t bad considering the weather, but it meant I lost the gains I had made earlier on the schedule. It continued to rain sporadically until we finished at 10.46am and then just to top it all off, the final climb into the hotel was a little 8% incline for around half a mile. Check out the video of us crossing the finish line…
But most importantly, the cycling challenge is complete! A great thanks to those who supported me throughout the ride, knowing they were behind me and suffering too at least brought the occasional smile to my lips. Thanks to Dan Mullin for giving me the challenge and the opportunity to raise money for Dreamflight. Thank you to everyone who has or is going to sponsor me.
And finally here’s to the children of Dreamflight 2015 – enjoy! You thoroughly deserve your holiday and swims with dolphins.
Support David on his fundraising page
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