Monday, 5 August 2013

The Comeback - August 11 2013 - Ride with Brad

OK so I've kept this a bit under wraps because things are so uncertain with my foot at the moment: I'm doing my comeback sportive on Sunday. It'll be the Ride with Brad starting and finishing in Barnoldswick, see

You may remember that last year I was so sick of not going to races that I volunteered at this one, external fixation, camping, crutching, registering riders and all. Last year when I was there it did cross my mind that this year's one might be around the right time for me to enter it as my first sportive in my second cycling 'career'. Anyway, a few weeks ago I got an email from the organisers, Pennine Events, asking me if I wanted to volunteer again, so I reminded them of my situation and they said it would be fantastic if I entered even though they would have also liked me as a volunteer.

After some amount of thought and a discussion with my physiotherapist, I decided to enter. But, alas, not the 100 mile route which would have been the ideal :( Common sense and reason have prevailed so I'm going to do the 100 km route, which still goes over most of the climbs - it just misses out a 40 mile loop through the Trough of Bowland. It will be 62 miles with about 1750m of ascent. The main climbs I think are Waddington Fell, Longridge Fell and the Nick O' Pendle, but there are a couple of others too. In any case it promises to be hard, especially if the weather is poor like it is today, but it will be fun and will of course be a massive landmark in my recovery. The last sportive I rode was the 3 Shires Sportive on 18 April 2010, on Sunday that'll be 1,211 days ago. I think the organisers may be going to do a bit of publicity about me because of my story but we'll see. It doesn't really matter but it would be nice to get a thank you in for the NHS and all the people that have helped me get to here. Hopefully this year I will at least lay eyes on Bradley Wiggins, unlike last year where I was so busy registering people in the tent that I never saw him!

What about my foot? Stress fracture and so on. Well, yes, it's a bit of a concern but I went out and did 28.5 miles round here on Saturday, with about 1000m of ascent, and I could feel it but it wasn't too bad. I will chew down some Cocodamol before the ride on Sunday ;)

I am quite nervous but once I set off on it and get up the first hill it will be fine I'm sure. I've ordered some new kit for the occasion - a garish yellow and red Northwave jersey and some new (black) bib shorts. It will be an early start as I'm not camping this year, probably we will need to set off about 5.30am. Rebecca is going with me - I hope she won't be too bored while I'm riding - and the set off time for the 100 km route is 8-8.30. I will tweet (@andrewmarkwick) from the start, finish and some intermediate points (probably the top of the climbs!). Exciting!

After this, the next one is the Autumn Epic, 95 miles in the Elan Valley, October 6. Instead of Bradley Wiggins, on that one I'll have my friend John Sutton ( for company :)

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