1000km, 1 ride, no sleep. #FindYourLimit

The Challenge.

If you've seen that I've been involved in endurance sports for a number of years, you'll realise that nothing is impossible. In the ethos of #FindYourLimit and #ChallengeYourself, a whole year of Covid restrictions and hope of coming out of a pandemic on the horizon for 2021 I thought I'd challenge myself to something I would only do under Covid life - 

  • A single virtual ride on @GoZwift, any route, any bike, group or solo but my legs must power my avatar the whole distance.
  • Cover 1,000km
  • Once started, no sleep until 1,000km done.
  • No weight doping - true weight, true power data only. 

For those who prefer a video content, here's a summery in moving pictures:

The devilishly simple idea of switching on the PC and loading the virtual world; clipping in to the pedals on my turbo trainer; and then ride and eat until 1,000 virtual kilometers have been covered. Simple! Around 30 hours should do it.......

Running in conjunction with my own personal challenge, I am currently riding with The Flock #GoTheDistance challenge organised by Danny Pecorelli from The Exclusive Collection, with training orchestrated by Andy White. Each Wednesday night our teams meet up every for training with the objective a team Everst'ing on Zwift in May.  For details of the Flock and the GtD challenge, you'll find these here.

Coming up to a year ago I left the work office due to Covid restrictions.   I saw this as an opportunity so I did a solo virtual Eversting which I then rode on to ~530km and 10,000m elevation as this was something I would have put off as I prefer the road in normal life.  To test out if 1,000km on Zwift would even be entertained, a couple of weeks ago I did a test ride of 500km in 14hrs in preparation to test food strategies and working out the comfort and logistics of covering 500km quickly. That 500km indoor ride challenged me!

1,000km is going to be bigger, harder, more challenging and pushing my physical limits to places I haven't been before (although technically, I'm not even leaving my garage).   Where in a non-pandemic year I'll ride road events from 400-600 km, or even 1,500km; doing these distances on a static bike is.....strange.   There's few micro-rests that you'd get at road junctions or those chance encounters at 4 am when looking for a 24hr garage to top up a water bottle.   1,000km is a BIG challenge!  In 2016 I cycled Edinburgh to London direct at speed, no sleep and I couldn't walk properly for around 2 weeks.   I've a feeling this is in the same order of magnitude of physical demand on my body.

The Motivation to do the challenge

The idea is of self-challenge under conditions which life doesn't normally offer you.  What can I do while a global pandemic still rumbles on?  What opportunity has this given me that I wouldn't do if it wasn't for a pandemic?  

I'd prefer to be out on the road, crossing counties and countries but that's not logistically (and legally??) feasible at the moment but it shouldn't prevent finding out what challenges can be taken on and endured.  The idea is to see how deep you can push.   This is my personal challenge and I'm looking forwards to it!   

After each of the events and challenges there's a window after it with that rewarding feeling, exhausted, achieved, accomplished, pushed, pained, worked for and done.   That is so worth it.  I've (physically and mentally) missed that over the past year.  This is my motivation to not only try and recapture part of that, but push way beyond what I think I'm partially capable of and beyond my comfort zone.   In the final stages of Eds-Lond, LEL and a few other rides, where the capabilities of fighting to turn the cranks fights with the excitement of finishing, there's a real mix of "I've challenged myself to that point."   For this one, I've a real fear that this is something more than I can do without digging really deep.  And that is what the appeal is.


For those looking to physically give a shout out and turn a pedal, I'll be riding Good Friday through to Easter Saturday (.........maybe Easter Sunday depending on how things are going!).  I'll be on Zwift doing loops of Tempest Fugit mainly at a steady pace and I'll be the one names "a. cyclist (GTD)".   

I am not riding this for a charity although there are three charitable areas I do endorse and I'll give a shout out to;

  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD - As part of The Flock challenge, I am riding with Helen Carmichael and as a team we are raising money for DMD and the link is here. Please show our team your support!
  • NeuroScience Support Group - Traditionally, I would raise money on behalf of MSD as this is a charity I've believed in for years. Please consider the NeuroScience Support Group in Nottingham with the research which they are conducting.
  • Mind Covid has shown that during pandemics, mental health is extremely important. Building back a robust and support society is in everyone's benefit and so many people need support. Please look at donating to Mind.org to support all those that need help.


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