Paul Tully’s 100 Mile Charity Bike Ride: Report

Back in mid-June we reported that top BriSCA F1 Photographer Paul Tully was building up to a 100 mile charity bike ride for Cancer Research & Breast Cancer Campaign.

Here is Paul’s own reflective account of the event.

It all started over a pint and a chat with a colleague from work, both of us have been affected one way or another with family members and Cancer. We both felt it was time to get of our ass and do something. Little did we know what lay ahead?

We got a few folk together and it was decided we would cycle to Skegness, a journey of just over 100 miles to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer campaign.

I started to train on my bike a couple of nights a week but this was not enough so I put an article in my local news paper for someone to train me. I received an offer from an ex-army PTA trainer who had just lost his son to cancer, how could I refuse?

The training was hard and from March, 3 mornings a week at 07.00am I was in the hands of this man who I was convinced was trying to kill me.

The pain did get a bit easier as I went on, then came the day, Sunday 27th June 2010, the weather men predicted it was going to be the hottest day of the year, they weren’t wrong. Because of the weather, and an England World Cup football match being played that day we decided to set off a little bit earlier.

05.00am on a beautiful Sunday Morning the team all met up at the Charnwood arms Pub in Coalville, Leicestershire a little bit of excitement and apprehension was the feelings amongst everyone that morning. After a quick briefing we set off on this mammoth task.

The first half of the journey was not so bad, a few hills to tackle, but as they say if you go up then you have to come down at some point, so those downhill rides were most welcome.

Get on your bike and RIDE.

We arrived at our first refreshment stop in good time and the enthusiasm was still there with everyone.

We chose the route of Leicestershire-Melton Mowbray-Grantham and then the A52 to Boston/Skegness.

Like I said the first half was a bit hilly and you could get your respite on the downhill bits, the killer was that big hill out of Grantham to join the A52, it don’t look much in a car, you try it on a bike!

By this time it was getting warmer too, so on to the A52, nice flat road, nice and easy? What we did not realise is that because this road is nice and flat it is constant peddling with no respite periods, and there is over 50 miles of it.

It was half way towards Boston that I hit the pain barrier, I got sever cramp in my back and my knees just didn’t want to work anymore, when I got to the refreshment stop I couldn’t even get of my bike, I had to fall sideways. I have never felt pain like it; I could not breathe as every time I took a breath the pain took it away again.

The team rallied round with fluids, pain relief, Re-hydration stuff (which has got to be the most foul tasting stuff I have ever had) within ten minutes the pain was easing, however it was at this point when I decided to quit, I just could not go on any more.

After a few minutes I realised why I was doing this in the first place and decided to crack on a bit further.

When I hit Boston it was the most welcome site so far, I knew we were nearly there, yes nearly there only another 20 miles or so, that is another two hours on the saddle, don’t think about it, just get on with it.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Between Boston and Skegness has to be the longest part of the journey, it is just past midday, yes they were right it is the hottest day of the year (just knocking on the doors of 30°C) and I decided to do this last leg in one hit, no stops! Who forgot to fill up his water bottle?

What a welcome site to see a good friend of mine in the pub garden with an ice cold pint of Lager in his hand, not for me though I might add.

About 8 miles from Skegness I needed to stop for a five minute break, what I did not realise at this time that my chain had decide to part company and as I went to set off it got jammed in the cogs.

Lucky I had a basic tool kit in my ruck sack and managed to free it and set off again, by this time I knew I was a way behind the others; I was past caring by now. I was also out of water.

Luckily the so called friend with the cold pint passed me, I think he sensed I was struggling at this point and slowed to offer assistance, I sent him in search of water to which he returned with two bottles of ice cold fluid, I need to say that our friendship was salvaged by that move.

After my re-hydration it was head down and the final sprint to the Skeg Vegas office on the sea front, the most welcome sight of my life was to see members of my family, friends and further colleagues waiting to greet me.

Paul Tully. 100 Miles, in the bag.

After the spraying of champagne, medal presentation, lunch and a couple of most welcome pints the bikes were thrown in the back of the van and a more conventional journey home was made.

The total amount raised was just short of £2000 (which includes the on line donations) A cheque has already been presented to Cancer Research and a further cheque is to be presented to Breast Cancer campaign very shortly.

We could not have completed this without the help of many companies and people to which we are so grateful.

In no particular order we would like to thank for their help in essential equipment: Carbody Banbury Ltd, Stoxworld, Skegness Stadium, Rochdale Van Centre, B&K Services, Mark Ford Signs, Tarmac Ltd, Skeg Vegas, KK Insulations, Paul Brown Photography, and of course to all those kind people who donated to the funds.

Thank you all so so much.

The proud few. Well Done.

What’s next?? Watch this space!

Well done to Paul and all that took up the challenge to raise much needed monies for two very worth while causes. As soon as Mr.Tully informs us of his next venture we will let you know.

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