Hi! I’m Doug Hodges and I’m hoping you’ve come here to be part of my Support Team – or maybe you already are. This website is as much of declaration of intent for me as well as a diary record of rides. I may be the only one to read it, but putting up a planned ride is a sort of discipline.
I ride 70 – 100 mile cycle ‘sportives’ (not races – long past those – rather personal challenges) and I need all the help I can get to complete them within (or near) the target times I’ve set.
In my earlier days (around 50 years ago, that’s me, then, on the left) I didn’t know how incredibly helpful and inspiring a cheering crowd can be.
I came to know it in my head (from watching the 2012 London Olympics), but it was only in 2017 when I rode the RideLondon-Surrey 100 mile sportive (on the right) that I really felt it – thousands of cheering folk all around the route really did help the miles go by easier/faster/more confidently. In Yorkshire this was even more pronounced – I could hear the spectators drumming on the crowd barriers from a mile or more from the finish and that last mile just slipped by!
However, I do know that it’s hard for my own supporters to come and watch – after all I’ll go past them so fast (I wish) they may not even recognise me (and I almost certainly wouldn’t recognise them amidst the crowds) so their support is really ‘virtual’. They – and you – can follow my progress on line and know when I’m coming up to areas where I would really welcome a few more cheers – especially tough hills, around the 50-70% mark and for the last few miles. In turn, I will very often see someone or something that reminds me of one of my Support Team and I’ll take note of their encouragement. OK, it may seem only imagination but it really is psychological – after all what would you think about during a 6 hour bike ride, especially when the going gets harder?
Two of my big events for 2018 were the Tour de Yorkshire and Ride London-Surrey (for more details see the posts on the right or below). Having been roundly defeated by the Yorkshire hills (I walked up many of them), for 2019 I’ve opted for the hills of Cambridgeshire instead in the Tour of Cambridgeshire in early June and the hills of Norfolk in the sportive that’s part of the National Road Championships at the end of June (for those unfamiliar with the counties, by Yorkshire standards these counties are flat!). Both are traffic-free closed roads events which are a real privilege to ride. The National Road Championships sportive will start within easy riding distance from home – how could I not ride it! Closed road events are faster – my target is 6 hours – and I’m counting on your encouragement to help me achieve it! When I know more details of each ride, the exact routes will be shown on my Events page and you’ll also see how you can “follow” my rides here.
Do please let me know you’ll be cheering me on! Thank You.