The road to nowhere is to be 10 hours of pain for Mark Ellam.
Through the night of the 29-30th May East Coast Bicycles is hosting a 24hr charity turbo event, aiming to bring the cycling community of Hull together in a bid to raise money for three local charities, Hull Animal Welfare, Project 30 and Hull HARP, so what’s happening and how do you get involved ?
Mark is well known within the cycling community as a man with a big heart – both for cycling and giving.
He’s only happy when putting himself through the mincer in aid of others.
The former solider and regular Cottingham Road Club rider has in the past cycled the length of Britain in near hurricane winds for charity, this ex Army Sargent who ballooned to 22 stone after falling into daily drinking sessions rides hard and fast for charity as often as he can.
On the Friday night and Saturday morning (29-30th May) Mark takes on a new challenge on behalf of local charities, this time instead of riding his bike across the country he will be staying put but working just as hard. Mark is looking to ride 10 hours non-stop through the night challenging anyone to try and beat him with all proceeds going to local charities.
I caught up with him and asked him a few questions..
Q: What are the charities and why pick those? What drives you to choose them?
I’ve always wanted to do the knight of sufferlandria which is 10 back to back videos. As you know I’m always wanting to give something back and love supporting local charities. It’s much nicer helping someone you meet then a faceless charity from London. The event is actually 3 fold of which I’m one. It’s hope that ECB can attract clubs and the public to try and race for medals over 15, 30 and 1 hour segments.
Q) Where are you going to be holding this event and when?
Annie and Nick Dalton of East Coast Cycles on Princess Avenue want to hold a memorable charity event similar to their annual roll-a-polza, they approached me as I’ve had a lot of experience with turbo trainers and vr modules. I asked for my help in setting them up and my cycling connections to help promote the event.
Q) So 10 hours cycling on a turbo-trainer, through the night…. ?
I’m 51 and my past is common knowledge, I hit rock bottom and my Doctor told me that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I’d be dead within two years. I was 22 stone and drinking up to 12 pints of beer a night. Then I found cycling…
The Hull Daily Mail did a piece on my history:
Cycling has helped me beat my demons and is a great way to get and keep fit, the challenge to me is that I will be racing for the full 10 hours. Each hour a new competitor will pick up the challenge, I’ve got to try and beat them all – right through the night!
I like to challenge myself – during the Lands End to John o Groats ride I used over 30,000 calories and climbed 43,460ft spending 61hours in the saddle at an avearge speed of 14mph. This challenge is different and pushes me in a different way – it’s going to be hard but fun – more social..
Q) How can people get involved?
By ringing the shop on 01482 342894 and booking a slot. Turning up on the day and having a go.. There’s more information on Facebook.
Q) How can people donate to the event?
Cash, promises and (speak to Annie..)
So there you go, get involved –ring 01482 342894 or email email@example.com and book a slot, they’re going quickly!
We would like a good representation from Cottingham Road Club – we’re known as a friendly supportive bunch so why not pop down and give Mark your support?
Even if the challenge isn’t to your taste then pop along for the atmosphere and please don’t forget to make a donation.