Blogs

LeisureCycling.co.uk

My Brands Hatch Story by Dave Robinson

Wow! Where do I start? This is a short version of my personal story to tackle the Revolve 24 Challenge on a Bicycle around Brands Hatch. In January at an exciting conference I had the pleasure to meet and talk to Simon Harmer (@shorterSi on Twitter) his aim is to inspire and be inspired, I became inspired by his story of being in Afghanistan working as a medic, getting his leg's blown off, coming home and never giving up on fighting to achieve at life, at challenges to compete in sports and win. the win is in the taking part of course. I decided at being nigh-on 18 stone it was time to sort my fitness and wellbeing out, a diet was not going to work I needed to have a lifestyle change, I had already offered to help the team being put together for the 24-hour race, by helping with the set-up, driving etc., not the riding of a bicycle that I hadn't been on since I was at school! Then I soon got a gentle push lol to take part, I mean how hard can it be? Right! Olly my training guru well he was the one that gave me that gentle shove into taking part.

Result

Many thanks to Dave for his blog on his astonishing weight loss and his 24 hour painfest! If you’d like to read more of Dave’s cycling adventures then you can visit his superb website DavesChanged for more inspirational cycling exploits.
Dave vs Box Hill
My personal weakness was going uphills, my cadence was completely out of sync and I couldn't handle the 22 gears. This now seemed impossible, I then watched a video of super bikes around Brands and saw never ending hills. My heart dropped. I needed s massive boost, took a week out of riding to change my mind set, spoke to Simon, spoke to a few people in fact and it became clear I just needed to reboot the cognitive part of my system. Looking at mind-set and balance worked wonders, helped to focus on what matters most to me, that was to try to help as many other people I could. Small changes bring HUGE rewards thought process if you like. With this I had a good few weeks, training became normal life. joining the gym was working, even trying yoga to help with my balance. I was stronger and I had lost loads of weight, people noticed, this boost played its part, but were we ready for Brands? Of course not. Nowhere near it, however we we're on our way. Always smile and laugh as a team, because crying was not our game, “together we were stronger”
After a few training rides with the team, Aussie (Mark) giver of great advice and the man who finally helped me understand cadence. I still couldn’t handle hills but hey, life’s all about going uphill and good cadence in your general life will always help, use it while swimming, running and even walking, it really does help! A true friend and a great training partner. What can I say about Olly? This guy has help change many things in my life in the past year, I know he didn’t have much else going on apart from having a child of course! Hopefully we’ll have many more events together as I think we can grow as a team. Dom (the Dominator) Having done a 40 mile with Dom I knew he was strong, it’s not easy, but he looks like he’s been on this exercise trail for years rather than just the 18 months. I hope we get closer from this experience and do more, I could teach him how to handle more than 3 pints, maybe. Andy and Liam The Pit Crew, well we didn’t stop laughing during the worst of the rain, the cold, the endless exhaustion. Oh of course they (Andy) fixed the bikes, ran around and did loads more for me and the guy’s, I think I thanked them both, maybe that’s another drink I might owe now!

The Race Weekend

We set up base camp early being first on site, very keen, very nervous, I went around meeting with many other teams, giving away free thermal mugs and water bottles really helped with this, or it might have been my utter fat lad bare faced cheek, meeting other that didn't have much clue was making me a jolly happy chap, meeting the guys that do the big races was amazing, great tips or so I thought lol. Saturday went by very quickly, up at 7, ate an awesome breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes, the sitting laps around Brands really opened our eyes to this challenge with the climbs needing to be taken with as much carry speed as possible. I did wonder why so many riders did several laps. I knew not to waste energy as that would be needed at night, RAIN! Well we've all been caught in the rain, but on this day I was going to cycle around a race track in the pouring rain and in the dark, two  things I hadn't done while training! I went to the pub in the cold, wet and dark evenings, of course I did, lesson learned on that one I hope..... 3PM and we are off! Olly was starting us off. There was no way the other 3 were going to fall over running across the race track! I was holding the bike on the opposite side. The starting handover went well and I gave great words of advice, Olly don’t lose it on the 1st lap etc. Aus was next to take over in the pouring rain, I thought rather him than me, except the rain carried on and when Dom’s turn came around the rain seemed worse! Oh no I was next. Nerves fully set in. my legs felt like jelly and rain, I’d never ridden in the rain and the wind was now at full pelt. Put up ol beam, I thought to myself, everyone’s in the same boat here. Dom was coming in, his words of wisdom were to watch out for that ruddy great hill - the winds gonna take you off, goon, off you pop. And I did. That great hill was the first bend on the track so I took the racing line in, came out of the bend thinking where am I? Pretty sure I should be over there! Into the wind and rain those long 13 degree hills seemed to go on for far too long, lap after lap. That hour seemed to last forever and like nothing I’d trained for, whoopsie daisy! I promised myself the earth if I could just finish on Sunday. The next stint seemed to come around all too soon, it was now pitch black, darkness with just a small light on the bikes as there was no lighting around the circuit. It was of course still wet but by 11pm the rain seemed to finally drift away leaving clear cold skies, the main problem with that, our clothing was going to stay soaking wet until the sun came up. We barely saw each other over the next few hours trying to get rest, eat what we could and changing into any warmer dryer clothes we had left. The 2am stint was not good, flipping freezing cold! I couldn’t get it together on track, my whole mindset went sideways and I now needed to try and sleep. I came in and handed over to Olly who looked as lilly white as myself, the fake tan didn’t last the rain this time round and even Andy looked dog tired. I took some wet gear climbed into my sleeping bag with my compression outfit still on. An hour, I managed to grab an hour’s sleep, but at 5am on a cold dark Sunday morning this didn’t feel good. My damp clothes didn’t feel great but hey, what could I do? I needed those padded shorts as everything now hurt, and I mean hurt! Saw Andy quickly, he looked good as also grabbed an hour, amazing what an hour can do… It was still cold but the darkness was leaving to be swapped for a sunrise, and what a sunrise, I will always remember being on track when the sun finally came over the top of the trees. At 06.40am the smiles were back! I loved being here, yes my body was in pain but, oh boy, this is why we started this journey. I think I might have handed over with a hug. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one moment although I knew more pain was to come later. Liam cooked me some breakfast and then it was time to get back on the bike. By 10.30am my hamstring had gone but I wasn’t giving up. I knew I could find RMA Therapy on site and get some physio after this stint. The handover was harsh. I dropped everything and went off to see the chap who loves dishing out even more pain! The good news Dave, he says, your hamstring is damaged and on the other leg your achilles tendon has also blown. My advice would be to go home and rest, but I know you’re going to telling to tell me, err no right? I was not giving up now, double soaks, compression tights, I had everything including ice and deep heat. The boys were also suffering. Mark’s bandage work was so much better than mine and nurse Andy’s! Olly and Dom pushed on, helping me to do one less lap. I wanted this so bad, Into the last hour which was a mixture of emotions and pain. I achieved my fastest lap and fastest speed on these last couple of laps too, must’ve been the adreneline coursing through me! I was smiling somehow, family and friends had come along to cheer us on, it was a massive boost aswas seeing a mate hanging over the pit wall calling me a Wendy. I spoke to many of the other riders on this stint, shook hands, we knew all it was the end of probably the hardest sporting challenge we’ve ever done. I didn’t care, I was smiling, except I slightly mistimed it, I would have to do another lap. Up that hill yet again, no way, I just couldn’t do it, My saviour was a marshal who shouted out the chequered flag will be out in 2 mins. I decided to wait with him, well his radio, until the race ended before I took that last 500 yards. It did seem like more than 2 mins but I blame the boys in the pits for that, I mean I was totally ready to finish! The crawl across the line was awesome, ringing my bicycle bell all the way down the last straight, everyone on the grid waiting. Getting off took some doing! The pain was there but I didn’t care, I wanted to shake the hands of my team, this turned into emotional hugs yet again! I’m pretty sure we had lots to do after this time, like kit, tents etc. My drive home, oh sorry peeps, my drive to the hotel 300 yards from Brands was a great idea I had. Still in race kit I walked to the bar got a pint and went aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!
My weight from being almost 18 stone in 2016, I was 17 stone 2 in March after a little loss. But since training and healthy eating habits giving me a much better overall lifestyle. Before the carb overload and race weekend I had got to 12 stone 6. I’m now getting back to what is now the norm, good food, gym sessions and yoga for that extra strength along with more rides, golf, and oh yes, shuffle or jogging I think it’s called. What’s next: a few of us have signed up to shuffle, I mean run a marathon, A 24-hour straight walk, Two 100 mile cycle events and hopefully take on the 24 hour Revolve Challenge again with a lot more planning and training of course!  If we can get sponsorship i/we would love to do more, Kit and training does cost, so I’d be happy to wear a logo if it means I can help others. I also plan on helping where possible if the budget is available then I’ll be there to help you if you need it. Dave. PS. A massive thanks to our teams sponsor Conquip Engineering Group. They gave us some awesome Owayo kit which really saved parts that would have been in so much worse pain shall we say lol! On top of buying us kit and giving us support they also made extremely generous donations to the charities that we were riding for. A great company run by a really nice honest and genuine family!
I bought a hybrid mountain bike in March and started to go on 5-10 mile rides, eating a little healthier and soon the weight started to drop, it was clear that my energy levels would not get me around Brands so I had to step up, step up on everything I was doing, completely change my eating habits, as the 3 stone I thought I wanted to lose, needed to be much more, build strength buy another bike, this time a proper Road racing bike, I went with a nice little red number, (Fuji) went out and brought new training kit, I had no idea. No idea there was so much stuff one short little fat chap needed to just ride a bike. I even joined Fit-Box a gym of personal workouts with your own trainer, someone to push me way beyond anything I had done let alone attempted to do. The 6 months of training were extremely difficult, we could see other riders taking part were doing much longer rides, looked much fitter, this race was about now trying not to finish last, and we knew it was a challenge!

Blogs

LeisureCycling.co.uk

My Brands Hatch Story by Dave Robinson

Wow! Where do I start? This is a short version of my personal story to tackle the Revolve 24 Challenge on a Bicycle around Brands Hatch. In January at an exciting conference I had the pleasure to meet and talk to Simon Harmer (@shorterSi on Twitter) his aim is to inspire and be inspired, I became inspired by his story of being in Afghanistan working as a medic, getting his leg's blown off, coming home and never giving up on fighting to achieve at life, at challenges to compete in sports and win. the win is in the taking part of course. I decided at being nigh-on 18 stone it was time to sort my fitness and well being out, a diet was not going to work I needed to have a lifestyle change, I had already offered to help the team being put together for the 24-hour race, by helping with the set-up, driving etc., not the riding of a bicycle that I hadn't been on since I was at school! Then I soon got a gentle push lol to take part, I mean how hard can it be? Right! Olly my training guru well he was the one that gave me that gentle shove into taking part.
I bought a hybrid mountain bike in March and started to go on 5-10 mile rides, eating a little healthier and soon the weight started to drop, it was clear that my energy levels would not get me around Brands so I had to step up, step up on everything I was doing, completely change my eating habits, as the 3 stone I thought I wanted to lose, needed to be much more, build strength buy another bike, this time a proper Road racing bike, I went with a nice little red number, (Fuji) went out and brought new training kit, I had no idea. No idea there was so much stuff one short little fat chap needed to just ride a bike. I even joined Fit-Box a gym of personal workouts with your own trainer, someone to push me way beyond anything I had done let alone attempted to do. The 6 months of training were extremely difficult, we could see other riders taking part were doing much longer rides, looked much fitter, this race was about now trying not to finish last, and we knew it was a challenge!
My personal weakness was going uphills, my cadence was completely out of sync and I couldn't handle the 22 gears. This now seemed impossible, I then watched a video of super bikes around Brands and saw never ending hills. My heart dropped. I needed s massive boost, took a week out of riding to change my mind set, spoke to Simon, spoke to a few people in fact and it became clear I just needed to reboot the cognitive part of my system. Looking at mind-set and balance worked wonders, helped to focus on what matters most to me, that was to try to help as many other people I could. Small changes bring HUGE rewards thought process if you like. With this I had a good few weeks, training became normal life. Joining the gym was working, even trying yoga to help with my balance. I was stronger and I had lost loads of weight, people noticed, this boost played its part, but were we ready for Brands? Of course not. Nowhere near it, however we we're on our way. Always smile and laugh as a team, because crying was not our game, “together we were stronger”
Dave vs Box Hill
After a few training rides with the team, Aussie (Mark) giver of great advice and the man who finally helped me understand cadence. I still couldn’t handle hills but hey, life’s all about going uphill and good cadence in your general life will always help, use it while swimming, running and even walking, it really does help! A true friend and a great training partner. What can I say about Olly? This guy has help change many things in my life in the past year, I know he didn’t have much else going on apart from having a child of course! Hopefully we’ll have many more events together as I think we can grow as a team. Dom (the Dominator) Having done a 40 mile with Dom I knew he was strong, it’s not easy, but he looks like he’s been on this exercise trail for years rather than just the 18 months. I hope we get closer from this experience and do more, I could teach him how to handle more than 3 pints, maybe. Andy and Liam The Pit Crew, well we didn’t stop laughing during the worst of the rain, the cold, the endless exhaustion. Oh of course they (Andy) fixed the bikes, ran around and did loads more for me and the guy’s, I think I thanked them both, maybe that’s another drink I might owe now!

The Race Weekend

We set up base camp early being first on site, very keen, very nervous, I went around meeting with many other teams, giving away free thermal mugs and water bottles really helped with this, or it might have been my utter fat lad bare faced cheek, meeting other that didn't have much clue was making me a jolly happy chap, meeting the guys that do the big races was amazing, great tips or so I thought lol. Saturday went by very quickly, up at 7, ate an awesome breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes, the sitting laps around Brands really opened our eyes to this challenge with the climbs needing to be taken with as much carry speed as possible. I did wonder why so many riders did several laps. I knew not to waste energy as that would be needed at night, RAIN! Well we've all been caught in the rain, but on this day I was going to cycle around a race track in the pouring rain and in the dark, two  things I hadn't done while training! I went to the pub in the cold, wet and dark evenings, of course I did, lesson learned on that one I hope..... 3PM and we are off!
Olly was starting us off. There was no way the other 3 were going to fall over running across the race track! I was holding the bike on the opposite side. The starting handover went well and I gave great words of advice, Olly don’t lose it on the 1st lap etc. Aus was next to take over in the pouring rain, I thought rather him than me, except the rain carried on and when Dom’s turn came around the rain seemed worse! Oh no I was next. Nerves fully set in. my legs felt like jelly and rain, I’d never ridden in the rain and the wind was now at full pelt. Put up ol beam, I thought to myself, everyone’s in the same boat here. Dom was coming in, his words of wisdom were to watch out for that ruddy great hill - the winds gonna take you off, goon, off you pop. And I did. That great hill was the first bend on the track so I took the racing line in, came out of the bend thinking where am I? Pretty sure I should be over there!
Into the wind and rain those long 13 degree hills seemed to go on for far too long, lap after lap. That hour seemed to last forever and like nothing I’d trained for, whoopsie daisy! I promised myself the earth if I could just finish on Sunday. The next stint seemed to come around all too soon, it was now pitch black, darkness with just a small light on the bikes as there was no lighting around the circuit. It was of course still wet but by 11pm the rain seemed to finally drift away leaving clear cold skies, the main problem with that, our clothing was going to stay soaking wet until the sun came up. We barely saw each other over the next few hours trying to get rest, eat what we could and changing into any warmer dryer clothes we had left. The 2am stint was not good, flipping freezing cold! I couldn’t get it together on track, my whole mindset went sideways and I now needed to try and sleep. I came in and handed over to Olly who looked as lilly white as myself, the fake tan didn’t last the rain this time round and even Andy looked dog tired. I took some wet gear climbed into my sleeping bag with my compression outfit still on. An hour, I managed to grab an hour’s sleep, but at 5am on a cold dark Sunday morning this didn’t feel good. My damp clothes didn’t feel great but hey, what could I do? I needed those padded shorts as everything now hurt, and I mean hurt! Saw Andy quickly, he looked good as also grabbed an hour, amazing what an hour can do… It was still cold but the darkness was leaving to be swapped for a sunrise, and what a sunrise, I will always remember being on track when the sun finally came over the top of the trees. At 06.40am the smiles were back! I loved being here, yes my body was in pain but, oh boy, this is why we started this journey. I think I might have handed over with a hug. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one moment although I knew more pain was to come later. Liam cooked me some breakfast and then it was time to get back on the bike. By 10.30am my hamstring had gone but I wasn’t giving up. I knew I could find RMA Therapy on site and get some physio after this stint. The handover was harsh. I dropped everything and went off to see the chap who loves dishing out even more pain! The good news Dave, he says, your hamstring is damaged and on the other leg your achilles tendon has also blown. My advice would be to go home and rest, but I know you’re going to telling to tell me, err no right? I was not giving up now, double soaks, compression tights, I had everything including ice and deep heat. The boys were also suffering. Mark’s bandage work was so much better than mine and nurse Andy’s! Olly and Dom pushed on, helping me to do one less lap. I wanted this so bad, Into the last hour which was a mixture of emotions and pain. I achieved my fastest lap and fastest speed on these last couple of laps too, must’ve been the adreneline coursing through me! I was smiling somehow, family and friends had come along to cheer us on, it was a massive boost as was seeing a mate hanging over the pit wall calling me a Wendy. I spoke to many of the other riders on this stint, shook hands, we knew all it was the end of probably the hardest sporting challenge we’ve ever done. I didn’t care, I was smiling, except I slightly mistimed it, I would have to do another lap. Up that hill yet again, no way, I just couldn’t do it. My saviour was a marshal who shouted out the chequered flag will be out in 2 mins. I decided to wait with him, well his radio, until the race ended before I took that last 500 yards. It did seem like more than 2 mins but I blame the boys in the pits for that, I mean I was totally ready to finish! The crawl across the line was awesome, ringing my bicycle bell all the way down the last straight, everyone on the grid waiting. Getting off took some doing! The pain was there but I didn’t care, I wanted to shake the hands of my team, this turned into emotional hugs yet again! I’m pretty sure we had lots to do after this time, like kit, tents etc. My drive home, oh sorry peeps, my drive to the hotel 300 yards from Brands was a great idea I had. Still in race kit I walked to the bar got a pint and let out an aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!

Result

My weight from being almost 18 stone in 2016, I was 17 stone 2 in March after a little loss. But since training and healthy eating habits giving me a much better overall lifestyle. Before the carb overload and race weekend I had got to 12 stone 6. I’m now getting back to what is now the norm, good food, gym sessions and yoga for that extra strength along with more rides, golf, and oh yes, shuffle or jogging I think it’s called! What’s next: a few of us have signed up to shuffle, I mean run a marathon, a 24-hour straight walk, two 100 mile cycle events and hopefully take on the 24 hour Revolve Challenge again with a lot more planning and training of course! If we can get sponsorship i/we would love to do more, Kit and training does cost, so I’d be happy to wear a logo if it means I can help others. I also plan on helping where possible if the budget is available then I’ll be there to help you if you need it. Dave. PS. A massive thanks to our teams sponsor Conquip Engineering Group. They gave us some awesome Owayo kit which really saved parts that would have been in so much worse pain shall we say lol! On top of buying us kit and giving us support they also made extremely generous donations to the charities that we were riding for. A great company run by a really nice honest and genuine family!