“I thought it was gone” Cyclist gears up for 2500 mile charity race despite horrible training injury
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
A Norfolk cyclist is refusing to give up on his ambition to complete one of the world's toughest ultra-endurance races despite suffering a bad injury which halted his training.
On July 27 John Bakewell, an emergency medical practitioner and under ten's football coach, will set off on an epic 2,500 mile journey across Europe from Bulgaria to France called the Transcontinental Race.
But despite the fact he has climbed mountains, run marathons, and previously cycled over 1,300 miles in a week, preparing for the event has not been easy as in February the keen cyclist suffered a broken wrist after skidding on a patch of oil in Hethersett.
"Initially I was distraught, I thought it was gone, but thankfully the body heals," he said.
"It wasn't ideal, I was cycling home from a 50 mile training ride after work and I came around the corner and it was wet. The road is frequented by a lot of lorries and it must have been a bit of diesel. My front wheel went out from under me like ice."
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With just months to go before Mr Bakewell would have to cycle an average 180 miles a day everyday for 16 days, he was made to stay off of his bike for eight weeks.
"It was a question of whether I'd be fit enough to do it and the surgeon said I wouldn't. I decided that I would and I'll be telling him that when I see him next Monday," he added.
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Mr Bakewell, 54, from Hethersett, has attempted the Transcontinental Race twice in 2014 and 2015, but couldn't complete it for various reasons. On his most recent attempt, the father-of-four made it 1,650 miles before his right knee "had enough".
Previously Mr Bakewell journeyed from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for the Samaritans. This year he is fundraising to try and get a defibrillator in the Hethersett sports field, as well as to donate funds to the charity Breast Cancer Care, and he feels much better about his odds.
"Really for me it's about adventure and the bike is a vehicle. A really good friend is coming to the end of chemotherapy and radiotherapy so I'm doing it for them."
Mr Bakewell's progress can be tracked on Twitter at @johnnymbakewell and during the journey at www.transcontinentalrace.com under the race number 52,