I signed up for the ride because I wanted to challenge myself with a longer distance cycling challenge and I figured with a bit of training I could do it. Equipped with my bike, sun cream and lots of snacks, I spent June and July training for the ride by cycling around Liverpool, from Sefton Park to Southport and even over the Runcorn Bridge. I posted updates on Instagram and Twitter to update my friends on my adventures. I loved being outside in the sunshine all day on the weekend and particularly enjoyed many rides on the Liverpool loop line. It was challenging to figure out how much food to bring (lots!) during training and I often had to stop at a local shop to stock up on more carbs.
"During training I cycled from south Liverpool to Southport, 50 km in total."
I took the opportunity to raise money for The Whitechapel Centre, which works within Liverpool to support the homeless. A number of friends and colleagues donated to my ride and kept up with my training on Instagram. I also hosted a coffee morning in my University Department (Physics) for the ride, which was a great excuse to chat to friends, talk about cycling and also The Whitechapel Centre. In total, I was able to raise £500 for the centre, thanks to my generous sponsors, and it was really motivational for the ride.
"Ominous clouds before the ride started by the beautiful three graces."
The night of the ride was nerve wracking and as we set off through the Queensway tunnel around 11 pm, I was both excited and bracing myself for a long night. I had trained enough to keep up with the pack fairly well - but a night of rain and drizzle left us all cold and wet. Every 25 km there was an organised pit stop with food and hot drinks to help the riders along. After 6 hours of cycling, though, I completed the ride under the foggy Liver building. It was quite an experience to see all of Liverpool at night. The ride was all worth it as I was able to recover with a giant stack of pancakes :).
If you are considering doing the 2018 Nightrider I really recommend it - it is a great challenge and a lovely excuse to get out training on your bike.
To sign-up for Nightrider 2018 simply click here.