Police officers planning fifth cycle event
Barely 7 weeks after completing a punishing 500 cycle challenge around Wales, a team of police officers, from Staffordshire Police, are already planning another charity cycle ride for 2018.
The ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ team has undertaken a charity cycle challenge in each of the last four years and in the process they have raised over £100,000 for Caudwell Children.
The gallant team of Bobbies crossed the finishing line on their most recent event ‘Battle the Dragon’ on Sunday 10th September, 2017.
Although it was a relentless five days in the saddle participants in the ride said it was, ultimately, a rewarding experience. As Pete Johnson explained: “I’ve been involved with the last three challenges which has seen the team ride from Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower, Cologne to Stoke and the cycle around Wales.
“Out of all of these ‘Battle the Dragon’ was easily the most difficult. I’d done plenty of training ahead of it, averaging 75 miles a week in the four months before the event.
“But I have to say the wind and the rain made it a lot harder than we expected. Even on the easier stretches of the route the weather made it hard, and the sharpness of the climbs was never ending and it drained us all.
“One thing that helped to get us through the ride was meeting some of the charity’s beneficiaries who came out to see us along the way. That was really inspirational!”
The 15 strong ‘Battle the Dragon’ team passed through the Snowdon National Park and the Brecon Beacons, in just five days, climbing a staggering 39,000ft of ascent in the process.
Richard Farmer, aged 41, has been cycling for 18 years and says it’s the first multi-day event that he has ever done. He said: “Luckily I had no real injuries, it was just the usual soreness, but it was still the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.
“A succession of colossal climbs made it so difficult, but it was good riding with other cyclists as we could all encourage each other when one of us was struggling.”
Richard says having plenty of cycling experience gave him the advantage of being able to manage his recovery. He said: “I know how to look after myself and this helped me to get to the start each morning.
“The lowest point for me was day four. Coming into Montgomery was extremely punishing, both physically and mentally.”
Michael Foster, says he only became a regular cyclist in April this year. As the 23 year old explained: “I’d done no real cycling before I signed up for the challenge and I ended up doing 30-40 miles a week in the build up to it.
“Luckily, due to the fact that I live in Biddulph, all my training was hill work. However, whilst the training definitely helped me it was impossible to replicate the climbs that we encountered in Wales.
“I was physically and mentally exhausted after the challenge and was actually bed ridden for a couple of days.
“I’d eaten so much food to keep my energy levels up during the ride that I think that it affected me once I’d finished.”
Michael, who regularly goes to the gym and considers himself a fit person, says it was the duration of the challenge that many of the cyclist found difficult.
“Seven hours in the saddle is completely different than training for one or two hours a day,” Michael said. “The biggest challenge for me was the steep hill on the last day.
“I had a bit of cramp here and there but other members of the team were much worse off than me. One even needed surgery after the event!”
Out of the 15 cyclists who started the gruelling challenge nine completed the course. Having had time to reflect on their achievements the ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ team has recently met to discuss their 2018 challenge.
“Whatever they decide to do next year I’m sure it will be easier than the ‘Battle the Dragon’ challenge,” concluded Michael. “The experienced riders say that was the hardest ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ challenge ever!”
You can sponsor the team’s heroic efforts here.
You can find out more about Challenge Events here.