We made it! 30km NSPCC BIG BIKE RIDE
posted on Jul 21 2008 by Jade Hensby
Sunday 20th July was a beautiful sunny summer morning as we set of from Steyning for a short drive to Christ Hospital in Horsham. On arriving we were directed by marshall to a parking area and it quickly became apparent that this NSPCC Big Bike Ride had attaracted many supporters from a wide area, there were fields of cars and vans with more cycle racks than a Halfords warehouse. We unloaded our bikes and kitted up with a pump for emergencies and a couple of water bottles as we had been told in the instructions to prevent dehydration. There were that many bikes it was as if we had been dropped into Amsterdam!!!! Registration was a swift process involving signing our lives away to confirm what ever we did was at our own peril and were given NSPCC T-Shirts to wear.
We took up our place sprawlled on the grass for the next 45 minutes catching some of the summer morning rays before being promted to listen to directions and safety briefing which was finished off with a warm up routine...................which we did't take part in as no amount of warming up would prepare me especially for any distance. The 15km riders set off first followed by us 30km riders 15 minutes later. We set of initially round the footpaths of Christ Hospital as we josteled for position nearer the front of the pack, before heading off down the gravel track of the former railway. We rode through Southwater Village, then Southwater Park before going under the A24 and heading south towards Partridge Green.
These areas are parts of West Sussex neither of us had seen before and takes in some very scenic and beautiful places stacked in history including disused railway platforms. All was going well, we were making good headway and we were surprised to have got to just short of Partrdige Green quite so quickly and what we thought was the halfway point. Well, after this point in I was going to deteriorate quite quickly as we hit the hills towards Cospale and with my unfitness and a previous pneumonia some years ago was going to suffer with breathing. I walked the ups and rolled the downs on my own for some time as Duncan had riden off wey ahead. On several occassions he had waited for me and it was great to have the company and moral boost to keep me going, but inevitablly I was left alone once more with a number of ups and downs.
I didn't really know how much further I had to go and was attacking yet another up when in the opposite direction came Duncan informing me that the up went on for eternity and we decided that the best thing for me to do was to turn around and complete the remaining distance whilst I still could. We started the downhill roll just as my lungs decided that staionary was the only options and reduced me to creating a train impression panting on my kness on the grass verge!!! A short rest we set off again on what we were told a 3km finish (have you ever believed what you have been told, not) and after what seemed to last for ever did eventually get us back into the grounds of Christ Hospital. A short ride around the footpaths we started on approx 1 Hour 45 minutes ago, we cruised under the inflatable finish line met by children with boomwhackers and blowing whistles. Medals and goody bags were awarded and free drinks were more than welcome.
We had finished the 30km NSPCC Big Bike Ride, seen new areas of West Sussex and raised hundreds of pounds with thousands of other people for a good cause. A big Thank you to all those poeple that have supported us, donated money and urged us to increase our ride from 15km to 30km. Watch this space for the next whacky thing I get myself and the lads into!