The Story of Richmond24

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Instagram can be a great tool for meeting people and finding out about their adventures. This week Christopher Hall got in touch to tell us about his upcoming 24 hour ride round Richmond Park!

Chris is not only riding this as a personal challenge, but he has also seized the opportunity to raise money for his clubs chosen charity: The PACE Centre; an education centre for children with sensory motor disorders. Richmond24 will also be a record attempt; no one has yet recorded an attempt at this! And we can see this challenge kicking off in London!

1. Can you tell us about yourself?

I work as a designer in Central London. I have always been a passionate cyclist from mountain biking as a kid in the ditches in the woods near where I grew up, eventually turning to track. After a few big crashes on the track I started to switch to road, cyclo-cross and most recently, time trialing. I’ve always been one for a spontaneous challenge. Each year these seem to become more and more unrealistic, as I set myself targets that are daunting, but just the right side of the achievable to remain tantalising doable.

Last year my biggest challenge was to ride across Romania. Covering 800km in 5 days, and taking in more than 13,200m of climbing, I rode with a team of riders across Romania. From Bacau, we headed over the Transfăgărășan (voted the most beautiful road in the world), across the Carpathian Mountains, into Transylvania and finished exhausted, sick from altitude and sun stroke, but incredibly proud at Sinana. With all the pain and suffering from that challenge now faded and only the amazing memories and sights remaining in my head. So I got itchy for the next challenge.

2. So what is Richmond24 all about?

The Richmond24 is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is cycling around Richmond Park on the 18th June, London, non stop, again and again for 24 hours. I know my inherent strengths lie in power and being able to speed up sharp and flat out over short distances. But this challenge was about looking at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, endurance. Going far is something I know, but not well. I’ve never truly tested how far I can go (both literally and metaphorically speaking) and where my limits lie, where this ‘wall’ people talk about actually is. In that unknown lies the excitement and the challenge. During the day time, we are wanting as many riders to come over and support us by riding with us for a few laps, a few hours, whatever you can provide. A fresh pair of legs, a wind buffer or a fresh bit of conversation. But come night time, it will truly be myself and my ride partner, another Chris on our own.

3. Can you tell us about your chosen charity?

The aim is to raise money for The PACE Centre, a charity my cycle team, Ripcor, has supported for 10 years. A family-centred charity, PACE provides an innovative education for life to children with sensory motor disorders. It’s based on a belief in each child’s ability to learn and they tailor that service to their individual needs. The unrelenting, inspiring work of every member of staff transforms the lives of the children that they help. At Ripcor we remember and think about the kids every time we ride and they are one of our pivotal inspirations.

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4. So how is the training going so far?

The training is long winded and brutal at times. Anything from 240-320km can climb to more than double that as I head out on long, weekend rides. With less than three weeks to go, the mileage keeps increasing. I’m mixing early morning rides with cycles that begin in the middle of the night and high intensity turbo sessions as I try to acclimatise my (increasingly aching) body to functioning well on a bike at during its darkest hours. Advised to focus on my heart rate (and keeping it low), attacks off the front and chasing down those riders in the distance remains tempting, but is something I’m learning to do less of. The weekend just passed consisted of an 18 hour night ride, leaving London and heading to Brighton and back as well as a morning club ride around Windsor and Ascot. It lead to a total distance from Saturday morning to Sunday morning of 340kms. Soon we are starting to taper back a bit. This weekend coming consists of some of the very few races I have been doing since the training begun. A slight change in where your head is at and how you ride, but a refreshing change from the long term endurance riding.

5. Is Richmond24 also a record attempt? 

Yes it is indeed. It has never been attempted before and we are very thankful from the support that The Royal Parks have given us and our incredible sponsors who are doing everything to help us regarding the challenge.

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6. Could you see this becoming a future challenge for cyclists who want to break your record just like LEJOG?

Yes there is definitely the potential in this becoming a future challenge, which would be amazing to keep the relationship up with The Royal Parks and to keep people thinking of The PACE Centre. We are also considering other options of how far you really can go in 24 hours. Could you cycle from Scotland to London for example?

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7. Who will be supporting you throughout the ride?

Throughout the ride we are asking as many people in the cycling community to come along in the day time and become a wind buffer, pace setter, some one for a fresh conversation and to bring us some food. We also have an amazing support team through our sponsors and the incredible help from friends, club members at Ripcor and of course our family. Please do come and join us!

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