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250km Bikecation Covid-19 Challenge

The Challenge

I was invited by Jon Bradford, the king of accelerators and VC to participate in a weeklong 250km cycling event starting from 25th May 2020.

According to the organisers (organised by Jamie Paterson of Bikecation)

“Old duffers, young whippersnappers, all cyclists welcome. Riding at least 250 km in a week on the bike, Zwift, Peleton, Wattbike to compensate for what should have been a weeks holiday away.

One of our riders has said he’d do something charitable personally. So here we go = If we get 100 people to do 250 km each over 7 days, he’ll donate £5k to the NHS heroes. He will donate another £5k to the charity of someone’s choice – that someone is the person who has the highest total – kilometres elevation over their 7 days. That should spice things up a bit “

That individual is none other than Chris Tottman of Notion Capital, who lives not too far from me.

So I joined a week before and used that week for training, covering 225km. So I knew I could do the challenge. Then it became a question of how quickly can I achieve it.

478 cyclists joined as well. Some have not cycled for a long time. Some used mountain bikes. Some used cycling machines at home.

I have been cycling now for six years since I turned 46. Prior to joining, I’ve not done anything like this before. I’ve participated in Sportives, but 250km looked so daunting.

The Analysis

Now that we finished the week, here is what I achieved:

  • Longest ride ever, 126km
  • Two 100km rides in a week
  • Longest cycled in a week, 376km
  • Longest cycled in a month, 900km

I also wanted to ride 7 days and be in the top 75. Unfortunately, I completed 250km over the first three days and decided to take a break. Break of 1 day extended to 3 and I became lazy. Finally, on the last day, I decided to act.

The last day’s cycling was driven by my ambition to remain in the Top 75 as I have dropped below 200th due to not cycling after the 3rd day. I ended at 52nd, in terms of the distance cycled. Not a bad achievement at all. 22 cyclists have each ridden over 500km including Chris. Longest was 1,068.3km by Andrew Helme. I think Jon stopped after achieving 250km as he wanted to get back to running.

I’ve never been a fast cyclist. I thought buying a better bike would help me improve. But sadly, this has not been the case. I’m still happy to be among the top 100 speed wise.

Again, I am not a cyclist who thrive on climbing. Still glad to be in the Top 100.

Longest ride wise, I didn’t do too badly at all. So in summary, position-wise:

  • Longest distance – 52nd
  • Longest ride – 36th
  • Fastest average speed – 96th
  • Highest climbed (elevation gained) – 71st

The Learnings

The biggest learning was from the last ride. I reached the last junction near my house with just over 112km completed. 125km has been in my mind during the whole journey. By this time, I have been on the saddle for over 6 hours. I was tired physically as well as mentally. My previous longest ride was 121km. So I turned away from going home and headed towards Bramhall to do a loop. By the time, I completed the loop, I had completed 122.5km. Already the longest bike ride, my body was screaming to go home and rest. Somehow, I found the mental courage to cyle another shorter loop. The end result, 126km ride.

So the next time I want to beat this record, I can use the same methodology.

Same can be applied in business. How do you find a way to get to 100% of your goal, when you have worked damn hard to reach 90+%? You have exhausted your strategy and resources. What would be your loop to get you to 100%?


Thank you, Jon and Chris, for this opportunity. It helped me to push myself forward.

Oh, a big thank you to my wife and youngest daughter for shoulder and neck massages and making my recovery drinks.

Connect with me on Strava and join the Techcelerate Strava Group.

Final thanks from Jamie Paterson of Bikecation,

Andy Helme is the winner with a total of 1063km and 13451m of elevation. No surprises there then. Andy has requested his donation goes to As over 100 people cycled more than 250km Chris is donating £5k to Great Ormand Street Hispital. We had over 220 riders who cycled more than 250km. The just giving page is currently just shy of £3k for the NHS heroes. Many congratulations to all of you, and thank you so much for taking part. Chapeau and Bon Velo from all at the Bikecation team

From John Redman

Well done to Andy … he is donating the money to 1moreChild – which is a Ugandan orphanage that we support each year on the Ride25 pioneers event. A group of the pioneers said to Andy if he can win they will also group together and match the amazing money up for 1st place! The kids at the orphanage also have a cycling team now – that they call the Ugandan warriors. One of the girls is now riding at national level. Thanks for letting us join in. Great inspiration and a great idea. Well done everyone.

Want to join a similar ride?

Doug Scott who could not ride due to back problems is organising a family ride. If 100 cyclists complete 100km distance each, one of his companies will donate £10k to charity. Challenge runs from June 8th to June 14th inclusive.