Bull on his Whit­ton record ride

Char­ity chal­lenge rider rides gru­elling sportive course a dozen times on con­sec­u­tive days

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Vern Pitt

he Fred Whit­ton Chal­lenge has long held a rep­u­ta­tion among Bri­tish rid­ers as one of the tough­est one-day rides in the coun­try, but now an am­a­teur rider has set a new record by rid­ing the course on 12 con­sec­u­tive days.

Ryan Bull said it was “the worst 11 days of my life” af­ter com­plet­ing the chal­lenge, which he set him­self for char­ity.

The sport masseuse and per­sonal trainer said he wasn’t even aware there was a record for rid­ing the course — which is 111 miles long and con­tains 10,779ft of climb­ing — on back-to-back days un­til he’d taken on the chal­lenge.

“I started it on the July 29 and fin­ished on Au­gust 9. The first day was fine, the se­cond day my legs were ab­so­lutely gone; my quads and ev­ery­thing felt like lead. I got in the car, came home and laid on my liv­ing room floor think­ing ‘this is im­pos­si­ble, this is un­be­liev­able’ — even walk­ing up and down the stairs felt sore that night.

“I then got up about 4am, got my bike and just set off. I beat the day two time by nearly an hour and got back that night on such a high,” he said.

The 30-year-old said his times be­came fairly con­sis­tent across the ride and he knew he could com­plete the chal­lenge. Though it wasn’t with­out the weather tak­ing its toll. On all but one day it rained, of­ten heav­ily. Bull said his feet be­came “like trench foot” and all pres­sure was painful.

“I also had an Achilles is­sue as well from day six. I was walk­ing down the stairs with a limp so I had to pedal with my foot pointed for the last three days,” he added.

On top of the phys­i­cal pain, the Hon­is­ter 92 rider had to con­tend with some bad luck, los­ing his car keys and bank card on the seventh day. The bank card was found on the road days later by a fel­low club mem­ber but he never found his car keys and had to get lifts to and from the start each day.

Bull now plans to take up rac­ing and do fur­ther long-dis­tance rides such as the Haute Route.

Bull suf­fered for char­ity on the Lake District’s hills

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