action medical research

Etape Caledonia

24th June 2007, starting and finishing at Pitlochry in Scotland.

This should be a hard one, 134 km / 83 miles with a total ascent of 2,078m / 6,817ft while maintaining an average speed of over 12mph. The event will provide a true test for experienced cyclists and those who enjoy a new challenge. It will also prove an attraction to those not currently cycling to get on their bike and rise to the newest fitness challenge in the UK.

The Ride and Results

Grant Crawley cycling in the 2007 Etape Caledonia

Considering it’s the wettest June in recorded history, I think we were pretty lucky that it rained for only the first 40 miles. The scenery was spectacular, closed roads were an absolute dream to ride on and heartfelt thanks must go to all the local residents of Pitlochry for allowing the event to go ahead. The originally stated distances were a bit off when compared to my GPS tracking device, which recorded 81.32 miles and 6,400ft of climbing, but I maintained an average speed of 15.7mph and finished the event in 5 hours 10 minutes and 13 seconds.

The winning time was 3:48:15, and the last place time was 7:28:24. My position was 633, out of 868 finishers, which considering I finished a cycle of immunoglobulin treatment 16 days before the start wasn’t too bad. Next time I hope to do much better, I was disappointed at not breaking five hours so I now have a target to beat.

Etape Caledonia finisher's medal
Finisher’s medal

Action 100 (2006)

27th August 2006, starting at Bristol (Temple Meads), via Chobham Rugby Club and finishing at London (Euston).

This is the first time I have ridden the Action 100, which despite being labelled as Bristol to London, doesn’t officially finish in London. So being the stubborn perfectionist that I am, I decided to extend the official route onwards to Euston station. Which, by the time I had diverted around the Notting Hill Carnaval, turned out to be 143.6 miles and caused me to nearly miss my train home, which left 30 seconds after I got on board.

The total online amount I raised for Action Medical Research for this ride is £245 (excluding gift aid), which is fantastic and sincere thanks go to everyone who sponsored me.

My online sponsorship account for this event is now closed.

Castle Ride (2006)

7th May 2006, starting at Tonbridge Castle, the ride is a 100 mile circular route visiting five other castles in Kent.

You may think that Kent is quite flat, when you look at a map there are certainly no significant peaks. However, looks can be deceptive and Kent is far from flat, there are lots of small, steep hills to climb and the 100 miles is literally up and down all day long.

Having got my moan about the Kentish terrain out of the way, it should be balanced by the outstanding natural beauty of the county.

I took on this challenge ride with a colleague, and friend, from work. Gavin is a runner, and not a cyclist, but he agreed to give it his best shot. He did next to no training whatsoever, having bought his bicycle just over a week before the ride and had only ridden 35 miles the weekend before. I congratualte him on his sheer determination to finish the ride, which he did. Which just goes to show that provided you have enough determination and will power you can ride 100 miles in a day.

My online sponsorship account for this event is now closed.