Ben’s Cycle Fest training diary pt 1

When not working as a business analyst at cottages4you, Ben Boardwell is in training for the National Cycle-sportive event at Pendle Cycle Fest. In his first training diary he details his slightly unusual training regime, which has so far included watching cyclists on the French Riviera and renting a shopping bike.

We’d better let Ben explain this one himself…

I took up cycling 7 years ago after watching Lance Armstrong win the Tour De France for the 5th time, I realised that as long as you didn’t decide to ride over the Alps or Pyrenees, it was largely easier than walking. After a year or so of pottering around on an old mountain bike I bought a shiny Trek (it’s what Lance was riding at the time) racing bike and decided I’d like to have a go at the ‘Etape du tour’ sportive ride.

The Etape is an annual event where 8500 alarmingly fit, garishly attired, people ride a stage of the Tour De France. It was quite hard. It also cost a lot of money, but I loved it. Consequently I’ve tried to do at least one ‘challenge’ ride each year which have taken me back to France, to Scotland and most glamorous of all, Stoke-on-Trent.

I’ve put off riding the National Sportive course in previous years as the course looked too hard. It may well be too hard, but seeing as we’re sponsoring it…

In the last month I’ve been ill and then gone on holiday with my family, so riding has been at a minimum. I thought that a couple of weeks of the bike wouldn’t affect me too much, but it turned into 3 weeks when we got stuck in France due to the volcano. To make matters worse I had to watch 100’s of cyclists touring around the French Riviera each day. It got so bad I rented a shopping bike and took that out for a few hours. . The outfit comes with the bike.

My recent riding is a follows:


Wed 21st April – 2 hours on a shopping bike in Nice, tried to catch 2 pro riders who were taking it easy and having a chat, I couldn’t get close, got odd looks from the tourists.


Mon 26th April – 1.5 hours on shiny best bike. Felt surprisingly good. Wore my expensive new shorts which don’t fit properly, looked like Nora Batty’s lycra clad grandson.

Tue 27th April – 1.5 hours on not as nice bike. Felt OK. Vikki Haydock spotted me with a ‘light on my head.’ Which was in fact, a light on my head.

Wed 28th April – 1.5 hours shiny bike, not so shiny legs. Hilly. Tired.

Please click here for more information on Pendle Cycle Fest.

Click here for more information on Pendle Hospice, the dedicated charity for Pendle Cycle Fest.

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