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ESP’s active adventurer Darren Grigas has completed some amazing challenges as he’s transformed himself into an ultra athlete, but a trip out with Peterborough Cycling Club was a whole new workout…

I was introduced to Peterborough Cycling Club when I was invited to speak at their annual awards event.

The camaraderie and atmosphere was great and I was encouraged later by keen cyclist Mel Evans, to attend the TT as part of my training plan working towards next year’s IRONMAN.

It was hard work and showed me just how much more training I need to do, to convert these running legs into cycling legs.

Peterborough Cycling Club is the oldest continuously active cycling club in the country, established in 1874. Although other clubs claim to have been founded at an earlier date, to the best of their knowledge, PCC is the only one that’s not ceased to exist and then been reformed at some point.

The club’s seen many great riders pass through its ranks including national champions like Jeremy Harrison, Fiona Harrison, John French and Brett Harwood.

On my first TT effort, my main aim was not to be last in the pack, but of course mostly I was racing myself and the clock. I just managed to avoid the last spot by about 40 seconds.

These cyclists are very strong, some of whom would have finished their 10-mile sprint by the time I’d just passed my seventh mile!

Cycling certainly isn’t my strength and neither are short fast distances, even when running, so this was a challenge for me. Let me run 30+ miles and plod along all day, and I’m in my happy place.

Short intense blasts like this are a different level; I even ended up getting cramp in my calf in the final mile which never happens to me normally.

I was pretty humbled by the serious looking cyclists there, with all the kit and some incredible looking bikes probably 5-10x the cost of my dirty old faithful Boardman Cross.

I now have a good reason to spend more time on the bike and knock a few chunks off my times whilst the sessions last before the nights draw in.

The TT season will re-open in May, costs only £5 per session with no need to commit to a season. You can just pay as you go, like me, or become a member and become part of a great group of committed and progressive cyclists.

They’re a great bunch and keen to develop newbies too, so if lockdown has found you getting out on your bike more and you’d like to build on it, you can find out more here

Photos: Peterborough Cycling Club

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