A few weeks ago, Stevenage CC member, Joe Gorman rode for the Arctic Aircon RT team in the CTT 24 Hour National winning the National 24 Hour Team Championship. Here is his story…
Back in February I was out of shape and weighing 95kg the heaviest and unfit I’ve ever been.
But after some tough love from Stevenage Cycling Club members and being talked in to there annual Majorca trip! This gave me motivation to get back on the bike and get back to my old self.
I setup my turbo trainer and rode it at least an hour everyday for 63 days in a desperate attempt to get fit again, Before i knew it my fitness was coming back and the weight was falling off me.
All building up to the weekend just gone where I took part in the Mersey Roads 24 Hour.
This was my 3rd time racing this event but my first time as part of a Team, and what a team to be riding for Arctic-Aircon Racing Team. Very thankful to Michael Broadwith for making this happen. Your cheers on battlefield were amazing I’m never gonna forget you jumping around like a monkey, and your firm talking to when I was suffering kept me going, and to quote Tom “let’s Ave it” what a little legend.
It was going well for an hour until the rain started, it was awful it rained heavily from 3pm to 4am, the roads were flooded the wind was strong i could barely see, everything you don’t want in a 24 hour race, never have I cycled in such horrendous conditions and to do so for 13 hours made me question some of my life choices.
During the night circuits I went to some dark places mentally! It was dark, wet, cold, I was lonely & tired, struggling to stay awake only seeing my support crew every hour and a half, who were amazing throughout the 24 hours!!
Their support was something to behold.
Not once did i feel like giving up! they made me want to get back out in the awful conditions and finish the race for them! the night was hard on everyone and it had decimated the field.
The team kept the morale high and we all soldiered through the night and thankfully the sun came out in the early hours of the morning, but only for a short time before the rain started again.
Around 9am the clouds started to clear and the sun came out, this called for a fresh change of clothes, which made me feel like a new person, I shoved a gel down me and a bottle coke and suddenly I was flying along.
“no more food, keep the coke and gels coming”
On to the finishing circuit we went, where I had a couple hours of cycling left, I was smiling from ear to ear with all the encouragement from everyone gathered around the final circuit, people I didn’t even know cheering my name.
This made me go so much faster! I was flying round the finish circuit like I was doing a 50 mile TT. And cornering like i was in a crit race, pretty sure my avg speed went up!!
The last 10 minutes I gave every last ounce of strength I had until my 24 hours were over. I finished with a smile on my face and was greeted by my Hero as we all know her (My Wife).
My body is pretty broken which I am still recovering from, but it was all worth it, individually I came away slightly disappointed finishing 7th place with 463miles. “I need to sort my fuelling better”
As a team we all soldiered through to the bitter end and our combined mileage see us win The Team Championship.
And what great company to win with Neil Lauder who 3 weeks ago finished 2nd in the Pan Celtic race, where he cycled 1400+ miles in 5/6 days he also holds national medals.
And then there’s 56 time national medal winner Dr Hutch, now 57 time national medal winner.
I want to thank everyone who helped support me.
Lee Block you helped me get the bike sorted and looking, also for the loan of the wheels which thankfully I didn’t need.
Thanks Stephen Anderson for coming up to help out, you were the only one willing to do so and I really did appreciate your help.
Tim Bayley Pete Ruffhead Rob Finch & Mel
Your knowledge and advice was second to none, Tim’s words of wisdom every time I got back on the bike was this really helped me stay focused.
And last but not least my Hero Charlotte Gorman what a trooper she was!
She soldiered through the rain worried about supporting me alone! And ended up supporting the whole arctic support team she was looking after everyone.
She kept me fed, watered and warm, standing on the side of the road handing me bottles in the pissing rain, helping me strip off a wet skin suit to change clothes at least 4 times. “Pretty sure she just wanted to see me wet and naked”.
And her constant cheers every time she see me kept me smiling to the finish.
Couldn’t have done it without her, she makes me a better person.