Mark Beaumont joins the Deloitte RAB 2015 for day 6, 126 miles from Hamilton to Fort William. Here is what he had to say about his first time on a tandem riding with former Paralympian, Tim Reddish.
What attracted you to the Deloitte Ride Across Britain?
A friend competed Deloitte RAB in 2014 and raved about how well organised it was and well catered it was. On top of that I rode the End to End when I was 15 years old and have long wanted to go back and rediscover this iconic route.
What did you enjoy about the Ride?
This was my first ever ride on a tandem and it was superb fun. Tim Reddish is an inspiring leader and I enjoyed hearing about the wonderful work and vision of the British Paralympic Association. The stage through Glencoe has to be one of the most scenic cycles in the UK. I enjoyed spending the day chatting with so many fellow riders, many whom had never cycled in Scotland – I was certainly proud that the sun shone – a number of weary Londoners remarked over dinner that it was the best day they had ever had on a bike.
What was the atmosphere like on the Ride?
The 126 miles from Hamilton to Fort William is the longest day on Deloitte RAB so the evening before and that morning there was a fair amount of nerves, people heading to their tents early in preparation. Once we got north of Glasgow and onto the mighty Crow Road climb you could really sense camaraderie from fellow riders, as well as the organisers, who were standing on the summit cheering and clattering cowbells in support. The school children at the first rest stop, excitedly selling cakes and refreshments captured the community feel of this event and as the riders reached the West coast everyone was in high spirits, celebrating a tough but rewarding day in the saddle.
What makes this ride different compared with other similar challenges?
The Deloitte RAB benefits from scale to be able to put on a very professional service to the riders, but it also remains very friendly, with the personal touch. This is certainly the best catered for cycle event I have ever been a part of – the food is incredible!
Here is a little video compilation from the ride.
Will you consider joining us in 2016 for the full Ride?
Absolutely – I would love to.
What is your next upcoming challenge?
I wish I could say! 2015 has been a big year on the bike and included breaking the Cairo to Cape Town World Record in a time of 41 days and 10 days and also completing the North Coast 500 miler in under 38 hours. I am currently finishing writing my third book and will be announcing the big plans for 2016 in the New Year – rest assured this will be back on the bike and over some serious miles!