Tom Goddard – 23h 48m 03s on the 25th of June 2022. Tom takes on this epic challange in memory of Joe Pascoe and raises over £3500 for St Barnabas House Hospice.
In Tom’s words
I took on this ride in memory of a friend, Joe Pascoe, who passed away last September at only 34, and to raise money for St Barnabas House Hospice who cared for him.
I set of from the Truleigh Hill YHA at midnight, heading East, with a tailwind and drizzle. A lot of cattle and sheep on the trail who didn’t seem too interested in moving. Some good wildlife spots on the way- two badgers, a barn owl and a tawney owl. Some nice glimpses of the stars when the clouds parted. I made it to Eastbourne just before sunrise and turned in to what would be a 100 mile headwind. It was nice to re-cover my tracks with the views now illuminated. I made particularly good progress on the section between Blackcap and Bignor as it is the stretch of the trail I am most familiar with living in Worthing.
Between Bignor and Queen Elizabeth Country Park I messed up my nutrition and struggled a bit. I had been alternation between a gel and ‘real food’ every half an hour and it had been working well but my mind wandered. This made Butser Hill a struggle but nutrition was back on track quickly and I was in Winchester in no time.
The tail wind from Winchester was welcome but the torrential rain and lightning was not! With this being the home straight I remained in good spirits. I was treated to a beautiful sunset atop Upwaltham and managed the fairly treacherous descents of Bignor and Haughton in the light and then the slog up Amberley Mount in the dark. Back on ‘home turf’ in enjoyed being able to ride fast in the dark on the final stretch and finished in 23 hours 48 mins. Could I have gone faster? Yes. Would I have wanted to? Probably not!
Advice for anyone else tackling the challenge? Start in Amberley, heading East, and you will complete all of the difficult climbing, bar Butser, in the first half. Fit a bell for politely alerting walkers you are passing. Fit a front fender to keep the cow poo off your face and water bottle. Eat little and often. If there is any chance it is going to be wet prioritise grip and puncture protection over low weight and rolling resistance with your tyre choice (I had a soft Racing Ray on the front and hard Racing Ralph on the back, tubeless, and didn’t get any punctures). A dropper is useful for steep descents but also getting on and off the bike for gates, particularly on steep climbs! Most of all remember to enjoy it!