Day Three on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain

Despite riding with some young whippersnappers, Nigel Smith has a day to remember...

Nigel Smith is taking part in the inaugural Deloitte Ride Across Britain  after winning a competition in Cycling Plus. He's among 600 riders riding from John O'Groats to Lands End and aiming to raise £1M over four years for ParalympicsGB. We'll be following his progress throughout the event.

Day three in the Big Brother camp and the Deloitte Ride Across Britain has developed a sense of humour!  We are woken up at 5am by the Bangles and Manic Monday – one morning we’re definitely going to get someone shouting ‘Good Morning Vietnam!’ Today was one of those days that justify and rewards those months of training and cold January and February club rides.  With Ben Nevis as our backdrop, the sky was blue, there was no wind and more importantly no midgies.   Mr Cracknell clearly has influence – the route was a toughie.   129 miles From Ben Nevis, up and through Glencoe, across the desolated Rannoch Moor, then down to Loch Lomond, down to the outskirts of Glasgow to the base camp just south of East Kilbride.

Because of the length of the ride, slower riders went off from 6.30 with faster riders last out.  25 of us formed up and made our way to the first pitstop, just 22 miles away at the start of Glencoe.  The profiles we looked at last night made the climb look very steep.  In reality it was only about 6% but it was very, very long.  This whittled our group down to four as we topped the summit.  Rannock Moor was generally flat and fast with a final long descent that got my boy racer instincts firing on all cylinders.  It was about this time that I discovered that all three of my fellow riders hadn’t been born by the time I went to university – my legs got a lot heavier at that point.

We could see Ben Lomond in the far distance and on the way down to Loch Lomond we picked up about half a dozen riders.  This made the work a lot easier.  With everyone doing stints at the front, we could draft for 45 minutes at a time.  We flew down the Loch, which must be one of the longest in the UK.  Eventually we were at the far end of the Loch with a pit stop at 84 miles.  We set out again through Dumbarton and Erskine Bridge with only 46 miles to go. The next 30 took us through undulating countryside with the sun continuing to shine down on us.  But the Deloitte Ride Across Britain route had a sting in its tail and it came without any warning.  An 18%er.  The legs burned. But there was worse, down the other side.  Another one, and another one!  Deloitte RAB’s sense of humour had taken a very dark turn and so it went on for 10 miles.  By the end, there were just three of us, the youngsters and ‘Gramps’ as they kindly called me.  We rolled into base camp where our sense of achievement flew sky high.  Only two riders had arrived before us.  These are the days we ride for.   Fantastic.  Amazing.  Stunning.

Nigel was the winner of our Deloitte Ride Across Britain competition, winning a place on the ride and a Boardman bike.  Follow Nigel’s journey throughout the week.

More more information on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, please visit: www.rideacrossbritain.com

Day three in the Big Brother camp and the Deloitte Ride Across Britain has developed a sense of humour!   We are woken up at 5am by the Bangles with Manic Mondays – one morning we’re definitely going to get ‘Good Morning Vietnam’.  Today was one of the those days that justify and reward those months of training and cold January and February club rides.  With Ben Nevis as our backdrop, the sky was blue, there was no wind and more importantly no midgies.   Mr Cracknell clearly has influence – the route was a toughie.   From Ben Nevis, up and through Glencoe, across the desolated Rannoch Moor, then down to Loch Lomond, down to the outskirts of Glasgow to the base camp just south of East Kilbride.

Because of the length of the ride, slower riders went off from 6.30 with faster riders last out.  25 of us formed up and made our way to the first pitstop, just 22 miles away at the start of Glencoe.  The profiles we looked at last night made the climb look very steep.  In reality it was only about 6% but it was very very long.  This whittled our group down to four as we topped the summit.  Rannock Moor was generally flat and fast with a final long descent that got my boy racer instincts firing on all cylinders.  It was about this time that I discovered that all three of my fellow riders hadn’t been born by the time I went to Uni; my legs got a lot heavier at that point.

We could see Ben Lomond in the far distance and on the way down to Loch Lomond we picked up about half a dozen riders.  This made the work a lot easier.  With everyone doing stints at the front, we could draft for 45 minutes at a time.  We flew down the Loch, which must be one of the longest in the UK.  Eventually we were at the far end of the Loch with a pit stop at 84 miles.  We set out again through Dumbarton and Erskine Bridge with only 46 miles to go. The next 30 took us through undulating countryside with the sun continuing to shine  down on us.  But the Deloitte Ride Across Britain route had a sting in its tail and it came without any warning.  An 18%er.  The legs burned. But there was worse, down the other side.  Another one, and another one.  Deloitte RAB’s sense of humour had taken a very dark turn and so it went on for 10 miles.  By the end, there were just three of us, the youngsters and ‘Gramps’ as they kindly called me.  We rolled into base camp where our sense of achievement blew sky high.  Only two riders had arrived before us.  These are the days we ride for.   Fantastic.  Amazing.  Stunning.

Nigel was the winner of our Deloitte Ride Across Britain competition, winning a place on the ride and a Boardman bike.  Follow Nigel’s journey throughout the week.

More more information on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, please visit: www.rideacrossbritain.com

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