2011 Bruntwood Ellipse – My Proudest Cycle Ride EVER !

18 09 2011

Today started COLD and moist…..But that didn’t matter, for today was the biggest challenge of my short cycling life.

The Bruntwood Ellipse 2011.

A challenging 55 Mile route with 4  leg stinging, lung busting climbs, a ride of this sort isn’t something I would have WANTED to do last year, never mind BE ABLE TO .

Bruntwood Bike Number

My self-set challenge for the day, was to stick with “Tommo” for at least 20 miles, let’s remind you all of Tommo and Gaz again eh ?

Tommo & Gaz, Before it all began

Sure, I’m a “little” lighter than I used to be but hey ho, Tommo is a freakin machine who runs marathons for “FUN” !

Tommo, I can’t thank you enough for being the “Best Mentor EVER” Right, enough of this gooey sh….ow of emotions.

I’d met Andy and Tommo had met Paul, we all set off together at 8.30, I got a little excited and got in a breakaway early on and for the first 5 or so miles was averaging over 20 mph per mile, I realised that Tommo and co had dropped back and that, with around 4000ft of climbing heading my way, the pace was suicide, so I back off, Tommo caught up and the other 2 were never seen again.

Tommo put a lot of faith in me up the first climb and we did it, we made it together, then onto the second, long ass drag of a climb, I stayed with him till half way and then boom, the pace was just a little too much and I slipped back.

Sadly my view for the next few miles was of Tommo’s butt, but I’d held on for 25 miles so it was job done !

From there on out, it was survival , pure & simple !

I was doing things that I NEVER thought I could, I had chosen not to ride the Manchester 100 this year, so I could concentrate on this event, would it be worth my while ? or would I disgrace myself ?

Hitting the climbs, sure I got passed, but I was either staying with or passing the majority of people, this ride was no “Blackpool” it was full of serious cyclists on serious bikes and I was there, mixing it with them, but better was still to come.

The views at the top of each of the 4 climbs were all equally STUNNING !

Throughout the day there was a small group of us that passed each other a few times, with 15 miles to go, we had all managed to fall in line,  there was 8 of us in this group and every single one of us thought the same “The climbs are over, lets GUN IT !”

and boy did we !

Almost every single one of the last 15 miles was done at an average of over 20 mph, we were all taking turns on the front, working for each other, this group of men, who didn’t know each other and hadn’t said anything, were like a TdF Break away, we were catching lone riders and spitting them out of the back of us like a Unrelenting herd of wolves and you know what ? ….I WAS PART OF THAT MACHINE………..ME !!!!!!

with 10 miles to go my thoughts were “Please don’t drop me”

with 5 to go it was “They wont drop me”

with 2 to go it was “I’m gonna out sprint the lot of them”

and I did, we all thanked each other for some superb riding at the end and with that, it was done.

Sadly I didn’t get a photo/video of the finish, I would have sold it to Eurosport if I had 🙂

But there is this “Staged” photo of me, at the end, crossing the line.

Now, the numbers, 4 hellish and long climbs, 4000ft of climbing, 55 miles,

Blackpool has less than 1700ft over 62 miles, last year I did that in 3hrs 30mins.

The 2011 Bruntwood Ellipse was done, by myself in 3hrs 25 Mins !!!!!!!!!!! and I can’t begin to tell you just how proud that makes me AND I feel physically like I have just done a much smaller ride AKA I feel fine, not tired, not sore, just happy 🙂

Bruntwood Ellipse Route (Garmin Connect)

See, it’s all about challenging YOURSELF, pushing YOURSELF and going beyond your “limits” because, the truth be told, we don’t have any limits, Hope is stronger than fear, don’t let the fear of being unable to do something hold back the hope of wanting to do it, because you CAN do it, whatever your 100% looks like, just make sure you give it !

This was a charity ride, as I have not reached my target of £500 for the Manchester to Blackpool yet, I’d like to ask anyone who wishes to donate to do so on the following link PLEASE.





13 responses

18 09 2011
Peter Martin

Great read mate with the best quotes I’ve read yet on your blog “Hope is stronger than fear, don’t let the fear of being unable to do something hold back the hope of wanting to do it, because you CAN do it” Great stuff mate! A few more pics of that bike would go a miss, mind you its been that long since I was in the world of blog there probably is somewhere and I’ve missed them! 😉

18 09 2011
20 09 2011

Well done.

Well. Done.

20 09 2011

Thank you sir

20 09 2011

Congrats Gaz.

20 09 2011

Thanks dude , I’ll look forward to you being my lieutenant next year eh ?


21 09 2011
Tumbleweed Dan

Awesome ride Gaz,

How cool was that ride?! must have been terrific fun even with all the work. Thanks for the inspiration you have given me through your terrific efforts. All the best for you as you do more along the way.



21 09 2011

Thanks Dan

It funny that when I look back at time I set and realise 12 months ago I’d have struggled doing that on the flat never mind with those hills but at the same time , it didn’t feel like I gave 100% effort either

Can’t wait to do it again !

21 09 2011

Congratulations! An excellent write up, as always. I’ve managed only a couple of pacelines and boy are they awesome to be in! You increase your pace about 5 mph and use less energy doing it.

22 09 2011

I really can’t wait for the next one

The last climb was 12% an old boy dropped me on it, so much do that I lost sight of him, until I was in the ” peloton ” and just like HTC we were ruthless – we caught him with 3 miles to go, I was at the front when we passed, he stood up to try and hold on- he failed- 🙂

22 09 2011

I was like that boy in the USAF Cycling Classic. I was completely gassed and a paceline zoomed by me. It would have been awesome to latch on but there was simply no way. They were gone in the blink of an eye.

23 09 2011

I’ve been dropped many MANY times in the last 3 years but what don’t kill ya, makes you stronger 🙂

26 12 2011
2011 In Review – It’s Been A Kind, but Not Perfect Year. « The Cyclist who FORMERLY Weighed 39 Stone (559 Pounds)

[…] was able to challenge myself on the Bruntwood Ellipse, something to this day that is the proudest moment on a bike for me, over a route I NEVER thought […]

What are YOUR Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: