An Ordinary Bloke Vs. An Extraordinary Challenge - The Intro - Pedal Progression


6 December 2017

An Ordinary Bloke Vs. An Extraordinary Challenge – The Intro

Ollie is a skills coach at Pedal Progression, mainly working with coaching children, taking out corporate groups and guiding groups of young people. He’s a husband and Dad of two awesome kids. He drops them off to school in the morning and finishes work with us at 3pm so he can pick them up again. I’m imagining his situation will sound familiar to some of you. Ollie is an ‘ordinary man’, with all the life commitments, challenges and routines that go with that. He has however decided to undertake an extraordinary challenge in 2018. To ride 24hrs straight with no sleep…

Why? I can’t logically answer that. There is something slightly sadistic about endurance racing with a 24hr being the premier example of self suffering on a bike. In 2010, I undertook the same challenge riding the Clic24 on the Mendip Hills. Feeling as strong as I ever had on the bike, one day I thought, ‘I wonder if I could ride my bike for 24hrs?’ With the help of my friend (and now business partner) Sam and endurance veteran Matt Carr I did, without sleep and I finished first. I don’t remember much about crossing the line or what happened in the hours after due to my sleep deprived and by then, slightly psychedelic state of mind! Unsurprisingly I’ve never felt the desire to put myself through it all again. Ollie however, wants to step up and push himself further than he ever has and we want to help him.

Matt enjoying the final corner of his solo 24hr experience in 2010

24 hour events are as much about mental strength as they are fitness, although physical state is obviously key. Ollie has picked the Pivot TwentyFour12 as his event of choice which runs 26th-29th July, giving him just short of 7 months to get himself into competitive shape. In that time, we’ll be creating a series of blogs and videos, documenting Ollie’s training and thoughts leading up to the event and of course after too. We’ll call upon the knowledge of local racers and fitness gurus to find answers to the many questions Ollie has and will have as he trains.

Ollie racing at Bristol Bike-Fest, one horribly muddy year…

Ben Plenge from MTB Strength Factory will be training Ollie, making sure he is building and using power in and from the correct muscles. Ben has been a friend since his move to Bristol and we’re excited to have him on the project. He works with all kinds of riders from weekend warriors to seasoned racers, including Charlie Hatton, Veronique Sandler and Joe Norledge.

Mark Sterland from will be helping Ollie with mechanical knowledge and in preparing his bike. We’ve known Mark for a long time and have seen him progress from humble workshop mechanic (Ollie was once his boss!) to race mechanic for current World Downhill #2 Laurie Greenland.

Matt Jones is the current European 24hr Solo Champion and will be on hand to give advise on training rides and other tip bits from his vast experience of riding all sorts of body battering events. He has previously come 2nd at 24/12 where Ollie will push himself in July!

Ollie enjoy the trails at Ashton Court

As you’d expect, Sam and I will be helping build Ollie’s bike skills and accompanying him on rides as he prepares for what will probably be the hardest challenge of his life… Outside of being a Dad that is! It’s safe to say, we have a lot of expertise involved in this project moving forward and we plan to grow support in other areas too.

Keep posted for our next blog post, coming in early January when we’ll be launching Ollies training program.


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