On 17 June 2013 In Cycling News

Just nine days after setting out from John O'Groats, amazing Grace (Christian) has completed the epic north to south journey across Great Britain and arrived at Lands End. Grace battled baking sun, heavy rain and vicious wind during the 963 mile physical and psychological feat.

On reaching Lands End, Grace said "I can't quite sum up the last nine days - John O'Groats to Lands End is done! The rain came, it went, and it came again... but still we peddled. I had such an amazing time!" Other highlights included waking up to The Eye of the Tiger, going up and over Shap Fell in the rain and seeing the other glorious scenery from the perspective of the saddle. When asked what she missed most about home during her adventure, Grace is reported to have said her housemate, but this report is unverified.

Those wanting to catch up on the highs and lows of each pedal turn might catch Grace in lifeguard duty at Bittell on Thursday. 

On 09 June 2013 In Cycling News

Congratulations to the BRATs who were riding the famous Welsh sportif "The Dragon Ride" with 4,000 others over various distances from the Cycletta, the Medio Fondo (128km) to the Grand Fondo (210km).  BRATs riding the Grand Fondo included Brian Tilley (8:14:42), Debbie (8:56:00) and Tauny Southwood (8:14:43), Rhod Richards (8:39:08), Richard Thompson (8:56:25), and the Medio Fondo: Pete Davies (7:47:03), Brian Withers (7:49:34), and Hannah Davies (8:45:41).  In glorious warm sunshine and an omni-directional head wind, the ride was a delight of climbing (over 3,500 metres of vertical distance covered), descending (although there were several nasty accidents - one of which required the air ambulance and blocked off a section of the course for over 1/2 hour) and time-trialling.  Very strongly recommended!  The photo contains Brian Tilley, Tauny and Debbie Southwood, and Al Salter, who many of the athletes may recognise as a 3:56 mile runner of yesteryear (and a friend of Brian's).

On 05 June 2013 In Cycling News

On Saturday 8th June, Grace Christian sets off on the 963 mile Deloitte Ride Across Britain challenge. In nine days, she will be cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End with a team from Mondelez (who own Cadbury). Contrary to popular belief, riding north to south does not result in a largely down hill ride… on some days Grace will be climbing over 3000m (9000ft).

Grace kindly agreed to do this exclusive pre-ride interview, just for BRAT News

Brat News: What are you most looking forward to about RAB Grace?

Grace Christian: Seeing the sign posts at either end of the country (great photo opportunity!), the amazing scenery along the way, the buzz of people’s stories of the day at camp each evening.  Then having a few days off to stay at my Aunties B&B in Penzance after. Then to share the amazing experience afterwards!

BN: Tell us about your training and preparation….

GC: During the early winter, I started with regular spin classes at gym, and then first ventured back outside this year at Easter despite the snow. I’ve then been steadily building up to doing two long rides over every weekend. During the first May Bank Holiday I did the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Tynemouth - 50 miles a day for three days. Then the following weekend, two sportives (165 miles in two days). Last Saturday was the final big ride; an 80 Mile Audax from Wem in Shropshire to the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy in mid Wales.

BN: And how are you feeling now… with just a few hours until you fly to the start?

GC: Well, now the bike is on its way to Scotland on a lorry and bags are packed! I leave tomorrow morning and overall I am excited about setting off on the big adventure!

BN: Aside from the personal challenge, why else is this event so important? 

GC: The event aims to raise over £1million for the British Paralympic Association, the charity generously supported by the BRAT charity ball, which raised over £1400. I also have a personal Virgin Money site which has raised approximately £1000 already. I’m is looking to hit £1500 if possible. Thanks to those who have already made donations – let’s keep them coming!

BN: Thanks Grace, that’s great. Have a great ride - the BRAT club are supporting you all the way!!



Day stages:

DAY 1, 8th June- John O'Groats to Kyle of Sutherland  (Bonar Bridge)

DAY 2, 9th June- Kyle of Sutherland to Fort William

DAY 3, 10th June- Fort William to Glasgow

DAY 4, 11th June- Glasgow to Carlisle

DAY 5, 12th June- Carlisle to Aintree

DAY 6, 13th June- Aintree to Ludlow

DAY 7, 14th June- Ludlow to Wincanton 

DAY 8, 15th June- Wincanton to Launceston

DAY 9, 16th June- Launceston to Lands’ End











On 01 June 2013 In Cycling News

In contrast to the Pro Peleton touring Estonia at present, the BRAT tour was conducted on the heaviest framed, pudding saddled, 3 speed geared, no clippy pedalled, "sit up and beg" bicycles available.  Fortunately, the hire price was very reasonable (€8 per bike per day!), and the terrain would have made Washy want to move to Parnu instantly.  In 84 miles, we climbed a TOTAL of 562 metres vertical, reaching the giddy height of 75 metres above sea level (http://app.strava.com/activities/57321052).  The most difficulty was encountered in riding "off road" in Soomaa National Park (I swear on the GPS map it looked like it was all tarmac...) which recalled both the Paris-Roubaix and beach cycling in soft sand - indeed much of this part of the ride through the major Estonian wetlands was close to sea level.  Riding home again along one of the Estonian highways, in the company of large articulated, tree trunk bearing lorries, also proved rather exciting - but with the considerable draft benefit experienced whenever the lorries overtook us.  The total mileage took us to a grand total of 1995 kms riding in May (1,200 miles) - all "in the back pocket" preparing for the Dragon Ride, the "Chase the Sun" ride and the London-Edinburgh-London rides of later in the season.  Happy Days!

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