Thank you for taking a look at my crowdfunding page. I am looking to raise funds to help me get to the WEMBO World Solo Mountainbike Championships (http://wembo2016.com/) which takes place in Rotorua, New Zealand on 20-21st February 2016. I will be racing in the singlespeed category.
As an amateur athlete I need to find funding for this trip myself. I am extremely grateful for any of your donations and promise that if this opportunity to represent the UK at these World Championships is made real via crowdfunding that I will do all I can to get the title from the Australians who have dominated the class in recent years.
For the past 10 years I have been riding solo 12 & 24-hour races in the UK, but have only really found my legs in the last couple of years with my best results happening in the last 12 months. I am also a singlespeeder which means that there is the extra challenge of not having a wide range of gears to chose from when the going gets tough.
In 2013 I finished 3rd overall in the solo category at Mountain Mayhem, then followed this up with a 4th in 2014 at the same race. This year I went a step further and finished on top of the podium at Mountain Mayhem (http://www.mountain-mayhem.com/),clocking up 240 off-road miles and 8800m of climbing in 24 hours and 17 minutes. I have also won the Torq 12:12 singlespeed and vets categories for the last 2 years (http://www.gorrick.com/racing/results.php).
The transformation this year was receiving training through Extreme Element Endurance Coaching (http://www.e3coach.com/). This helped get me focused for my trip to California in October for the WEMBO-15 championships (http://weaverville24.us/ & http://www.wembo.com.au/). They also gave me a structured training programme focused on getting on the podium in the singlespeed category.
However, my trip to California this October didn't pan out quite as planned. Picking up a left shoulder rotator cuff injury 4 weeks before the race meant that a month ahead of the race I couldn't even ride a bike. I spent the next 3 weeks on a turbo trainer trying to maintain my fitness while gritting my teeth against the pain. There were good improvements in my shoulder in the week ahead of the race, gaining back a lot of the movement & seeing a reduction in pain, but had still been warned by my physio that the race could risk further damage or delay recovery.
The race started well and I took the singlespeed category lead on lap 3 and lead for the next 9 hours, gaining a 15-minute lead over 2nd singlespeed and working my way up to 9th overall in amongst the elite men. However, within a lap, my shoulder went from being manageable to not very good as I lost strength in my shoulder and arm. Over compensating with my right side caused cramping in my neck and shoulder and the lack of strength meant having to sit down more making the 3-mile climb rather difficult and the 8-mile descent quite uncomfortable at speed. In that lap I dropped back to 3rd. My wife strapped my neck shoulders and arms up with kinesiology tape and I went back out. However, at the point at which I was struggling to hold on with my left hand an unable to brake, I decided to call it a day before risking further shoulder damage or a crash on the descent. With 13 laps completed in 16 hours I was still placed 8th singlespeed. The fact that I lead for 9 hours balanced the disappointment of not being able to finish and showed me that I am capable of leading and winning.
Since getting back, my shoulder has further improved and I am now looking forward to getting back in training for a potential trip to New Zealand.
All money raised will be used for travel and accommodation. I will be covering the cost of the race entry fee and pit fees (£275) and getting my kit out there.
If I exceed my fund raising target I will donate and additional money to Menphys Nursery in Burbage who received £800 in sponsorship from my WEMBO-15 trip (http://www.menphysnursery.co.uk/).
Proud to represent UK Singlespeeders
I am extremely proud to be able to represent the UK at this extremely tough sport! I am serious about competing at my best, I have invested financially in a coach and kit to get me to California and will be continuing this until I achieve my goal. To achieve this I have trained 5-6 days a week for the last year both before and after work. I have also had great support from my wife & son while doing this.
All this training has been done alongside my career as a Senior Design Team Leader at Triumph Motorcycles (http://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/) who have been very supportive in the last year and going forward.
I am proud to be supported by a number of great UK companies who have provided me with some great kit to help me achieve my goal. So a big thanks go to Singular Cycles (frames & forks), Fibrax (brake pads & disks http://www.fibrax.com/), Hope Technologies (bike components http://www.hopetech.com/), EDS Bikes (help with tyres & generally good chaps), and BETD Goldtec (http://www.mountainbikecomponents.co.uk/).