The South Coast Sprint

I’m excited to share just a little about my first 2018 challenge, which will be taking place in just 2 months time.

What is the South Coast Sprint?

On Thursday 26 of April I will be setting off from Dover with the aim of cycling the 400 miles to St Austell, Cornwall. I’ll be aiming to complete the tour of Britain’s South Coast in under 40 hours.

This is, as with all 4 of the main challenges through out 2018, all in aid of Make-A-Wish UK and as ever your generosity would be hugely apprecaited. The aim is to raise £5,000 and you can donate here;

www.justgiving.com/milesforwishes

The route will take me from Dover, through Kent and in to Sussex, where I will follow the coastal roads from Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and to Chichester. From here I’ll head down to Hayling Island, across to Portsmouth and Southampton before reaching my halfway point in Bournemouth. The plan is to wild camp on route, so I am hoping for the late April weather to be kind to me here.

Day 2 will start with the chain link ferry from Sandbanks to Studland and on to Swanage, after which I will leave the coast and head up to Dorchester. I’ll be back on the coast at the famous Chesil Beach and head off towards Lyme Regis and in to Devon, crossing the River Exe and on to Plymouth. From Plymouth its just a short 40 mile hop on to my finish point at St Austell and hopefully a rather large beer!

The route should take anywhere between 22 and 30 hours continuous cycling to complete, so with rest and sleep I believe 48 hours to be an achievable time.

Why this challenge

I was brought up in Dorset and spend many happy years in Bournemouth and Sussex and as such the South Coast has been a large part of my life. So cycling the along it seems a fitting journey. After completing the John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) solo challenge in November I am keen to see just how far I can go this year.

JOGLE was 950 miles and 45,000ft of elevation in 9 days – this South Coast Sprint will be 400 miles and 25,000ft of elevation in just 2 days. So it is going to be a huge test again, both physically and mentally.

What am I thinking, I hear you ask…

Can I really cycle 200 miles in a day?

In my head I feel this is possible, I know from my JOGLE Challenge last year that I am more than capable of cycling 125 miles in 9hrs. There are two main concerns;

  • how long it will genuinely take – the two final days through Devon and Cornwall on my JOGLE challenge were hellish. The sheer unrelenting amount of climbing reduced me to a teary sore mess. I will however, be fresher in the legs and its such a short challenge I think I can afford to push it.
  • I be doing quite long days in the saddle and if I am slower than I am anticipating, this will eat in to rest and recovery time in between, but then again I’m thinking this is only for two days…

How to approach the challenge?

Again based on experience, I’d be aiming to cycle at an average of 13mph, which equates to around 16hrs of solid cycling. In order to tackle that I’m going to break the 200 miles per day in to four 4hr sessions of around 50 miles each. After each session I’ll stop, stretch and refuel decent food.

I’m viewing this as more of a test and experiment ahead of the big challenge – cycling 1000 miles between 5 European cities. As that challenge will require 200 miles per day, I do need to be testing myself now to see if the winter training is starting to pay off.

How do you plan for such a challenge?

Don’t think about it…well more like don’t over think it. For me the focus is on getting the right route, the right fuel and just getting out there and giving it my best. If I thought about it too much I’d start to question my sanity…

What next?

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing more detail about the challenge – the route and the itinerary as well as shouting about my fantastic sponsors (more to follow on who they are). So keep you eyes peeled for more updates.

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