Chris Bowler Lives: Bracknell, Herts Age: 33 Height: 1.87m Weight: 102kg Rides: Kona Jake, Cervelo S1 Reasons to ride: Lose weight, change my lifestyle, break records! Weaknesses: Pizza, fizzy drinks, training and dieting fads. Goals: Get down to my ‘racing’ weight (98kg) Finish London to Southend in less than 2.5hrs Season: Get my weight down to 90kgs Ride London to Paris in 2 days Long term: Attempt the BRRA Pembroke to Great Yarmouth men’s tandem record Ride from Lisbon to Paris in two weeks
Having ticked my first goal box (get down to 98kg for the summer events get in!) I was looking forward to putting in a decent time at the BHF London to Southend ride last weekend. Of course, if you fail to plan you plan to fail so I booked Mrs Bowler and I into a hotel to make sure I arrived at the start line for 8am fresh and keen.
For future reference, part of planning for success will always include specifics on whether or not the hotel for the night before is next to the 9th floor of a multi-storey car park in East London. Serenaded by alternations of sirens and Saturday insobriety I managed four hours sleep before groggily rolling out for the five miles down to the start.
I can’t speak highly enough of the event itself – the route was great; 52 pretty flat miles with two decent hills for interest and the start / finish organisation was second to none. It was a wet ride and there were a fair few elbows and headbutts flying around on the climbs as riders looking for good times levered some room but I’m happy to say I stayed upright all the way through and generated some cash for a great cause to boot!
I’d targeted 2.5 hours so you can imagine my delight when I ticked over the line in 2:29:00. At least, I can imagine the delight I would have felt finishing in 2:29:00. In fact I was miles out – 2:49:00. I can list all the reasons until I’m blue in the face but the clock doesn’t lie. I’ll be back there next year to take care of that unfinished business.
In the meantime I’m riding every day – especially since the article explaining the results of our tests at Claremont Sports, Medicine and Performance Centre were revealed in the latest issue of Cycling Plus – and I’m looking forward to a weekend of tent touring in the New Forest this weekend. It’ll be great to kick back and spin some low gears (assuming the weather holds) without stressing too much about thresholds and zones for a couple of days. I’m still targeting 90kg by the end of September though so I don’t have too long to relax. Skinniness, here I come.