the 13 Challenge – Episode 8

Well today was the day of the Manchester – Blackpool bike ride.

I will start by noting that at no stage have I ever been considered a cyclist. Having learned to ride a bike at junior school, I didn’t ride again until University when I lived too far out from college to walk in for lectures and then after that, well it was about 2 months ago……

So it was quite an undertaking to be riding 62 miles to Blackpool from Old Trafford. Seven of us from work set out, along with a colleague’s father who is a keen cyclist and wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity for a ride out.

We were supposed to meet at 6am but we were late. Still we got to the start and away for just after 6.30am.

For a reputedly flat course there seemed to be an abundance of lumpy bits – some one might refer to as ‘undulation’, others as proper hills!

We started out together but it was immediately clear that some people were brilliant cyclists, some weren’t but had the fitness to get by, through to those with less in the fitness department.


The fastest of the group completed the 62 miles in 3h49m, I managed it in roughly 4h28m (having had to estimate the hanging around time after I’d started the GPS app (Endomondo) and for the time after crossing the finishing line to get out of the way of everyone else before turning it back off).

For me, it was tough, my thighs were telling me they weren’t impressed and why couldn’t they have done the Windmill Half Marathon (which we cycled past) instead.

endoBut as I’ve said in previous posts, the 13 Challenge was supposed to be just that. If it was easy, then at the very least it would be known as ‘the 13 doddle’ or something similar.

So that’s firmly the first half of the Challenge done – 8 out of 15 events complete.

I have 3 weeks to get back to race fitness where I return to terra firma for the North Wales Half Marathon. And heck, I’m looking forward to it.

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