01787 277315

Nick’s Cycling Challenge Update

Nick’s challenge – The Fred Whitton Challenge 2018

 Countdown to Event

Strava Training Log

Strava login required


w/c 30/4/18

Last week of full training this week! I did several shorter rides and one long ride with a total mileage of 275km (170 miles).  So the only think I haven’t achieved is any real climbing, which is a worry as I’ve go to do quite a bit in the Lake District.  Next week is some easy rides to keep the leg going, prep the bike and kit and get ready to go.  Total raised is £1547 so far which is such a great response.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time and committed your money, it is a worth while cause Macmillan, as the help patient and families through a very complex and stressful time.

I am planning on trying to do a little twitter thing (not sure what the technical term is) on the day and will be giving some updates on how I am getting on.  I’ll try to include some pictures to give you the scale as well as the beauty of the Lake District passes. This can be found at @ClarePharmacy on Twitter & Facebook.

  • 2/5/18 – 68km – Commute to work & long loop home, flat out 31.6kph (19.6mph)
  • 4/5/18 – 66km – Newmarket & Haverhill look recovery ride
  • 5/4/18 – 31km – Commute to work & Back
  • 6/4/18 – 110km – North Norfolk Beach to Home 30.3kph


w/c 23/4/18

Good week in terms of number or rides and the mileage.  How…… ever…… the less said about our weather the better!  I managed 5 days with rides with a total mileage of 244.5km (152miles).  I did a good group ride with the Clare Cycling Club on the Wednesday, a total of 53km with Andrew getting a puncture, me missing 2 turnings, rain, wind and dark foreboding skies.  What’s not to like?  Also managed some solo rides with a 61km (37mile) ride at 30.5kph (19mph) which really tested the leg.  Total sponsorship now tangs at £1338 for Macmillan which is GREAT!!

  • 23/4/18 – 31km – Commute to work & back
  • 25/4/18 – 53.2km – 3c group ride through rolling Suffolk countryside
  • 27/4/18 – 31km – Commute to work & back (wet & cold)
  • 28/4/18 – 52.6km – Loop to Maglia Rossa cycling Cafe for some cake!!
  • 29/4/18 – 60.8km – Loop from Clare to Newmarket in the cold & wet (again)

w/c 16/4/18

Only two days riding this week.  Wednesday included a couple of rides to bury and back.  Friday was a BIG ride! 203km (126miles) to Hunstanton and back.  It was a very hot day, but the ride was good at a steady 29.5kph (18mph) although the altitude climbed was only a third of what I’ll have to do on the sponsored ride.  I’m happy I can do the distance, I just need to manage the climbs to make sure my legs don’t fatigue. More climbing training and threshold training this week.  Total sponsorship now stands at a staggering £1,108.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated.

  • 18/4/18 – 53km – Bury St Edmunds & Return – quick ride at 50% threshold.
  • 20/4/18 – 203km – Hunstanton & Return – Hot and Flat – Nice ice-cream by the seaside!!


w/c 9/4/18

It’s less than 4 weeks away now!  The weather seems to have improved a little which makes riding a more enjoyable.  This week was split into some shorter rides to get the legs to recover from the efforts of last week and then a long endurance ride on Sunday.  I finally got out on the bike I am going to do the ride on, which was great.  It’s lighter than my winter bike and fells much more spritely.  Still really concerned about the climbing I’m going to have to do, so I am keeping the intensity of my rides as high as possible with the hope that a lower effort level in the Lakes is sustainable over the longer and steeper climbs.  The sponsorship has continued, and it now stand at £929.  I wasn’t expecting quite such a level of interest and support!  Thanks you to everyone who has taken an interest and has show their support.

  • 11/4/18 – 15km Commute into work (a bit damp!!)
  • 11/4/18 – 52km Clare Cycling Club group ride – where everyone turned up on their summer bikes and didn’t tell me, so I was on my winter bike! Still I managed to keep up with them (just).
  • 13/4/18 – 2 x 15km Commute to and from work – high intensity so half of the ride time was at a heart rate of over 166bpm.
  • 15/4/18 – 122km (75miles ) Long endurance ride averaging 28.8kmh (18mph) with a visit to Braintree and back via Finchingfield, Haverhill & Newmarket.

w/c 2/4/18

Shorter rides this week with higher intensity.  While you may think this is a good think ‘shorter rides’, it’s not!  My legs feel tired and empty due to the effort you have to put in.  Also our leaky sky is not helping with the endless water that keep emanating from above.  It’s all good training, but really.  The fitness keeps improving and my heart rate is remining lower for the same effort level, as well are recovering quicker when it does rise up to 180+bpm.  I did do hill climbs as well (picture below) but to be honest there is nothing like the Lakes in Suffolk.  So I’m just going what I can.  Sponsorship is going really well and has now reached £708.  Could we make it to £1000? – that would be great if we could!

  • 4/4/18 – Headwind commute to work 15km
  • 4/4/18 – Clare Cycling Club (3C) group ride round the winter route and then a ride home 74km
  • 6/4/18 – Hill Climbs – One set seated and one set Standing – 30mins at threshold heart rate – 50km
  • 8/4/18 – Effort ride, with sprints 1min every 5mins to build up the effort level – 64km

w/c 26/3/18

This week it is 45 days till the ride, GULP! The weather is still doing it’s best to make riding unpleasant, but as someone has pointed out, ‘it rains a lot in the lake district!’  So that got me thinking, I better get use to riding in the wet.  New rain jacket purchased and plenty of rain to test it out, I’m off (on the winter bike).  Aerocycles in Haverhill (www.aerocycles.co.uk) have done their usual through job on the summer bike, with a full service and new cassette on the rear to make the hills a little bit more bearable.  This may however be a little bit of positive thinking on my part.  Rides this week totalled two due to working being particularly busy.  One threshold ride (high heart rate) and a longer duration ride (lower heart rate – longer time in the saddle).  Donations so far is £623 which is fantastic.  Macmillan Cancer Support is a invaluable charity, who help support patients and family in their time of need.  Thank you for your generosity.

  • 28/3/18 – 15km – Commute into Work
  • 28/3/18 – 55km – Ride home via Newmarket in the rain.  Threshold ride, 1hr 53min at 29kph.  44mins at threshold (a heartrate of 166bpm to 184bpm).
  • 1/4/18 – 125km – Ride to East Bergholt and back.  A bit damp but more importantly the tea shop was shut!  Total ride time was 4hrs 33mins.  Just to give some context I climbed 3,543ft, which is only a third (1/3) of the total climb for the challenge bike ride.


w/c 19/3/18

The weather has been a little kinder this week and I’ve been out on the roads.  I’ve managed 223.7km in total.  The bike I’m using for the ride is in at Aerocycles in Haverhill for a full service and a larger 11-30 cassette for the rear to make the inclines a little more bearable.  The total raised so far is £548, so a BIG thank you to everyone who has sponsored me.  Please keep the sponsorship coming, as it is a great cause, which we all wish we didn’t need, but life’s not that easy.

  • 21/3/18 – 69km – Hill reps – but only 740m of climbing, this is just under 25% of the climbing I’ll be doing on the ride.
  • 23/3/18 – 104km – A long ride mostly head to wind to make it harder (not by choice, more by bad planning).
  • 25/23/18 – 50km – Tempo Ride – to make the Fred bearable I’m going to have to pace myself, so this ride was to see what a slower ride feels like.  The heart rate was kept below 166bpm.

w/c 12/3/18

Thank you to everyone who as sponsored me so far, and the words of support and also the helpful advice!!  The total raised so far is £400, which I am very grateful for as Macmillan is a very worthwhile charity.

  • 98km on the road at about 29kph – but then the snow struck AGAIN.  So Sunday was completed on the TurboTrainer again. Had a good eveing ride with the Clare Cycling Club on the Wednesday where we did the winter route, but the wind was strong making it a bit more challenging the normal.

  • 34km on the TurboTrainer (You can only watch so many Top Gear re-runs)


I’m looking forward to the clocks changing with weekend, but could do with the weather changing so I can get some mileage in.  The Plan is to keep with the high tempo training, but to factor in some longer rides at lower intensity, as well as doing some hill climbs, which in Suffolk is not always easy (to find hills!).


w/c 5/2/18

  • 2 x 91km rides @ 29kph – Much better to be outside than on the Turbo Trainer.


w/c 26/2/18 (#thebeastfromtheeast week)

  • 4 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 151.4km (that is a lot of sitting on a bike in a room)
  • Sponsorship total – £45


w/c 19/2/18

  • 3 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 65.6km
  • 1 x Training ride – distance – 86.1km


w/c 12/2/18

  • 2 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 78km
  • 1 x Training ride – distance – 81.9km
  • 1 x Park Run – distance – 5km (that makes your legs hurt for a few days!!)


w/c 5/2/18

  • 2 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 48.3km
  • 1 x Training ride – distance – 101.2km


w/c 29/1/18

  • 2 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 66.9km
  • 1 x Training ride – distance – 100.4km


w/c 22/1/18

  • 3 x Turbo-trainer – distance – 91.9km
  • 1 x Training ride – distance – 60.6km



22/01/18 – Notification that I have got a place on the BEST/WORST sportive in Britain.


03/01/18 – Apply for the Fred Whitton Sportive – Due to the number of applications this is done via a lottery.

Ways to Donate for my Charitable Challenge