September, 2009 Jim Alderson Riding for Charity

As you may know on Sunday 6th September I took part in the Prostrate Cancer Charity Tour Ride. This was the first time such an event has taken place in Britain allowing ordinary Joes such as myself the opportunity to ride a complete stage of the professional Tour of Britain stage race.
The ride started and finished at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium, there were 3 events taking place at the same time, the 145km (approx 90 miles) pro ride which was the full course of stage 5 of this year’s race, the challenge ride of 70km and the 20km family ride. Unfortunately I had signed up for the pro ride, so off I set at around 8.45 and I have to say the first 40-50 km went by in no time at all this took us from Stoke to Eccleshall, Stone then onto Uttoxeter.
After heading out towards Rocester it all went wrong as the serious climbing began and continued almost constantly for the next 25km. By the time I reached the feed station at Tittesworth Reservoir my legs had turned to jelly and I could have quite happily headed for home.
Within a few hundred yards of restarting I wish I had as the climb of Gun Hill stood in front of me. It is said that this climb once reduced ten times Tour de France stage winner and winner of Milan – San Remo Mark Cavendish to tears during a training ride during his time with the GB Academy, well at least I have got that in common with him. From this point on the rest of the ride became very much a case of survival and dragging myself along through various bouts of cramp and being completely knackered. But eventually the Stadium came back into sight and some 7hrs 34 mins after setting off I crossed the finish line. When the pros rode the Stage on 16/09 Edvald Boassen Hagen of Team Columbia-HTC won in a time of 3.15:57 but they only covered 134km, which obviously made all the difference.
In all 1200 people took part over the three rides and over £150,000 was raised for the charity.
On a personal note I have so far collected £700, so thank you to everyone that has supported me and made a donation.