180 cyclists took part in Action riding events at the Thruxton Motorsport Circuit last weekend (Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September). 70 enthusiastic riders participated in our popular Thruxton 100 event and 110 in our RIDE4 cycling challenge. Thruxton is a world renowned 2.4-mile motor circuit, famous for being one of the fastest in the UK, with a 60ft-wide smooth track and some of the most awesome long bends cyclists will ever ride.
Sarah Stevenson is our Community Fundraising Manager in the South East and commented: “We had beautiful weather and no wind, and for cyclists this is just a dream come true. There was great camaraderie throughout the event and it was nice to see people pairing up and keeping each other company, particularly among our solo riders.”
RIDE24 is now in its fifth successful year and is the ultimate stamina testing, non-stop relay racing, spectacular. The event welcomes weekend warriors and riders can either enter as a team or as solo cyclists.
For team entrants, they had to push themselves and their team mates to the limit. It's all about strategy and team work, and the team completing the most laps in 24 hours wins the coveted RIDE24 team winners’ title, as well as earning the opportunity to represent us at Europe's biggest 24-hour track race, the Bugatti Le Mans 24-hour Velo Race in August 2015. Bike and the Mechanics won the team challenge and covered 218 laps in the 24 hours.
Whether cyclists are lycra-clad enthusiasts or fun riders, we take good care of them. The fully equipped rider village helped to keep them going with 24-hour non-stop hot food with six different menus, refreshments, free sports massages, a talented bike mechanic team and shower facilities. There was also ample camping and this ensured they could focus on the challenge of conquering the mighty RIDE24 challenge. Big thanks go out to fantastic team of volunteers who cheered on the riders throughout the course.
Sarah Stevenson commented: “It was a fantastic event for Action and there was a fabulous atmosphere over the two days. It all went really smoothly and most importantly, I know that every rider who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”
This year, for the first time, 42 solo riders entered the race. The event is normally dominated by teams, but a high number of solo riders entered for the first time this year. Rob Groves is paraplegic and entered the race after being inspired by hand-cyclists at the London Olympic Games. He completed 85 laps or 205 miles at the track.
Robert says: “Before my accident I always took care of myself. I am a qualified nutritionist and fitness instructor, but afterwards I ballooned up to 17 and a half stone. I was desperate to get my mojo back and to get into shape again and seeing the guys at the Paralympics really encouraged me to give handcycling a try.”
To get himself ready for this epic challenge, Robert has been training solidly for two years. Five times each week and for four hours at a time, Robert has been lifting weights and using a crank cycle to build up his strength and stamina. He also cycled outside regularly to prepare himself for the challenges of the open road.
Robert is taking part in RIDE24 for Action Medical Research because he has a personal link with the charity. A friend’s child recently died of leukaemia and another friend’s baby died at birth from a brain haemorrhage. Robert says: “As well as to raise money for Action Medical Research, I also did RIDE24 to raise awareness of the struggle that people face to get the care they need. I also want to show people with disabilities, or those with debilitating illnesses, that they can achieve something and get fit.”
Completing RIDE24 is also a pre-qualifier for the US New York to Los Angeles ride, which Robert plans to compete in next year. Robert said: “I had a great time and I’m pleased with what I achieved. The team from Action were amazing and really spurred me on and kept me going. I’ve also qualified for Race Across America next year, which I’m delighted about.”