I haven’t been around for the last few days as I took part in the very last LifeCycle ride with my friends at the University of Nottingham.
I have done this ride before – Inverness to Glasgow – 207 miles in two and a half days (actually 17 ½ hours in the saddle). Then there’s the hills – 11,600 ft of climbing. The toughest is the one ½ mile from the finish – which is best described as cruel!
I also managed to break my bike – a spoke snapped rendering it useless as the wheel buckled out of alignment and jammed against the break. It will need the bike hospital. Fortunately the Vice Chancellor had a spare bike – which he kindly let me use.
This was my fifth ride with the Vice Chancellor – two coast-to-coast rides, two Lochs and Glens and a two-day Norfolk 200 miler!
LifeCycle has been an amazing ‘event’ for the University and a legacy for Sir David Greenaway who retires at the end of the month. Over £3m has been raised for good causes which is incredible. This years charity was children’s brain tumour research, but last year we raised money for breast cancer and the year before for dementia research.
The charity fund-raising is fantastic, but something else happens on these rides – a sense of camaraderie and friendships develop. They are not races, they are intended to be tough and you have to dig deep at times. But what I have noticed most of all is that people you ride with look out for you. Everyone has one goal – getting over the line. The abilities are mixed but that doesn’t mater. I have made some fantastic friends along the way. The support crew are amazing.
And I think LifeCycle will be missed. Perhaps it may re-appear in a different format?
An update: To read about the impact of the LifeCycle events – see Sir David Greenaway’s blog post here