Non-Stop Completion of the TPT – Simon and Paul – 2012
TPT Non stop completion Southport to Hornsea
In 2012 myself and my friend Paul completed the Trans Pennine Trail crossing and I wrote a short story on the TPT website (July 2012 Southport – Hornsea) and since then was looking for a bigger challenge. Living in Doncaster and only 1 mile from the trail I thought why not attempt it again. Probably a few beers later and a bit of bravado I decided to attempt it to see if our fitness levels had improved.
Training began, I knew what to expect but was nervous about my food / drink intake and lack of sleep. Some great advice from cycling websites and friends on nutrition, plenty of miles under the belt as practice, my friend Lee agreeing to be my support car for the whole journey and Paul agreeing to ride the night section with me……I was all ready !
2 weeks before I attempted a practice ride of 120 mile from Southport to Doncaster as this was the part I would be doing solo when the time came. No problems, all turns sorted in my head to stop me from having to map read too often and feeling surprisingly good. The day soon came….a little nervous, but eager to start and with amazing support from my friends.
Setting off from Southport early on Saturday I had arranged to meet with Lee (and his son/co pilot Damien ) at 40 miles. We then met approx. every 2 or 3 hours at arranged meeting points for much needed refreshments throughout the day. The day went well, no mechanical problems, very tired legs but a joy to meet my wife at Doncaster and a few friends. Paul was waiting, hi vis gear on, lights charged and ready and off we continued with about 90 miles remaining to Hornsea. We met with Lee every hour, just for the added security and to give me a massive confidence boost.
Finally arriving at Hornsea 218 miles later….extremely tired, massive thank you’s to my friends and family for their support, especially to Lee & Paul who without their help I would not have been able to do this, and the best sense of achievement I have ever had.
Some advice if you are attempting to do the TPT as a challenge ride and not a relaxed scenic adventure –
*Carry as little as possible and try and get a friend to support you in a car. Arrange meeting points in the weeks leading up to the ride with satnav directions / postcodes, estimated ETA’s etc.
* Fluid and food are the key, I was making sure to drink plenty, mixing fluids with water and SiS solution plus a lucozade every few hours. Food went from savory pasties, cold pasta mixed with balsamic vinegar (not the most pleasant but it does help! ), sweets, chocolate etc. Take a good range in the support car as my moods for what I was hungry for changed constantly.
*I would definitely recommend not riding solo through the night. The day was ok ask plenty of people about if you need help, but through the night the trail can get very isolated.
*Do sections on dummy runs you are not confident with. You do not want to be map reading through the night when you are cold and tired.
*Enjoy it….I was amazed at what the body can do when pushed, I found the hardest point was not the fitness but keeping my mind occupied when riding, especially through the night when you could start to feel low.
If you want anymore advice on nutrition / timings on the trip / how long it took etc then please do not hesitate to contact me Simonautysa@gmail.com
Thanks for reading.
Pat and Bryan’s story has helped our Partners right across the Trans Pennine Trail network to see how changes can make the route more accessible. Take a look at what they've helped to accomplish.