On Friday 17th June staff from Hattons will embark on a 3 day sponsored Coast to Coast bike ride to raise money for the Halton & St Helens branch of Headway- the brain injury association (charity no. 1025852). The 165 mile route will see them starting at St Bees Head near Whitehaven and take them through 3 National Parks, The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors before finishing at Robin Hoods Bay near Whitby.
The team taking part from Hattons consists of Matt Smith, David Merrills, Mark Cotson, Steve Hodkinson and Mike Denning and they will be keeping you up-to-date with how their training is progressing in the countdown to the challenge in this weekly training diary.
"Its 4 weeks from the ride and having fallen behind with training due to a slight injury to my leg I decided I would be ambitious and attempt a ride across the Pennines. Sadly the attempt was cut short by a puncture and the realisation that I had no spare inner tube and no idea how to change one. Having received an intensive course on how to change an inner tube my new found skills were put to the test on Thursday when on a ride with Steve I got another puncture, luckily this time we managed to fix the problem and carry on to Billinge lump. Although when we tried to get up it I was wishing that the puncture hadn't been fixed. I think that more training is needed."
"Training last week took the form of two 25 mile rides. The first one was conducted alone in the worst wind and rain I'd encountered to date on the bike, and finished with me soaking wet, covered in mud, and thoroughly unhappy. Sadly, I was unable to get up Shaley Brow without walking part of it, but at least I could blame the weather as opposed to my own poor abilities on this occasion!"
"The second, the day after followed the same route, this time with Steve and Mark in far better weather, but still with wet shoes from the day before! Again, I was unable to get up Shaley Brow without walking. This time however I had no weather issues to blame, and so now have to face the fact that I need to do far more training than I actually have time for in the next 3 weeks up to the ride, and that trying to get the best part of 15 stone uphill on a bike is actually quite hard work!!"
"Went out last Thursday with Matt it was just the 2 of us and we aimed to do 25 miles. Perhaps the most important piece of training we did was changing a tyre as Matt got a puncture within 2 miles! With little fuss we had the rim off, the tube changed and were back on the road in no more than 10 minutes. "
"Unfortunately it wasn't Matt's night. A couple of miles down the road he couldn't get his toe clips off meaning he was unable to get off his bike and rode out into oncoming traffic on the Rainford Bypass. A few seconds later and he would have been killed! Luckily it was only his pride that was dented."
"Then it was off to "the lump" ie Shaley Brow, for my fourth attempt at the climb. I failed and it's Shaley 4, me nil. I've not been out since due to work and family commitments but looking forward to getting out this weekend for round 5 with the lump!!"
"Over the last few weeks the training schedule has become fairly regular, with at least one 20 mile ride a week as a group and one or two shorter solo rides through the week. I also play football and cricket, as well as coaching the latter, so I felt as though I have a fairly good level of fitness going into the training. Due to my other commitments, I have been unable to do as many rides as I would like, although I have taken solace through being the only member of the group so far to reach the summit of Shaley Brow without stopping! I suspect however, that this may be due to me being a svelte 9 1/2 stone when soaking wet, rather than having a superior fitness level to some of my more gravitationally challenged colleagues! "
"My training this week has been interrupted due to having been away for a few days with friends. I am hoping to get back on the bike on Thursday for the weekly ride and looking to step up training from there on in with longer rides over the weekend.
"Training is shocking at moment!! Weather poor, back sore and friends stag do in way. I will be stepping up efforts this week as I have had the experience of cycling across country previously and we all need to be up to the challenge."
Come back next week to read the next weekly instalment from the team!