We sat down to have a chat with Tom Manson ahead of his Charity Cycle Challenge as he puts in the final preparations the day before he leaves Occupation Road bound for Cromer PIer.
Hi tom, hope your training and preparations have been going well. How long have you been in training for and how has it been for you?
I have been increasing the miles since March, just after lockdown. I have enjoyed the training and it has given me the opportunity to see the great countryside we have within a few miles of Corby. Coach Andy has been brilliant helping me with increasing the distance and riding out with me to monitor progress. The weekly 1 hour spin classes are brutal.
Have you done much long distance cycling before this challenge?
Until I decided to take on the challenge my longest cycle was 30 miles!
What’s been your biggest challenge during training?
I took the bike on holiday to Devon and went out for 40 miles climbing hills, it was as close as I have come to stopping and getting off the bike.
What made you decide to take on the challenge?
At the end of last year I decided to take on a challenge and we had planned to go to Cromer for the August Bank Holiday, so I thought, why not!!
What made you choose to raise money for the club improvements?
The committee and our members have been working tirelessly to raise money for the refurbishment that I am sure returning visitors will note as unrecognisable from the old style. We now need to maximise the use of the facility to increase our income and make us financially stable and be inclusive to everyone in the community. I did not realise at the time I started to raise the money, but recent events have made it even more of a priority and need.
What has the support been like?
It started slowly and felt a bit of a lonely journey, as the weeks ticked on and friends, members and the committee started to take interest it has been fantastic. For the last 8 weeks there is rarely a day goes past without another donation, messages of support and now club members who want to join me for a section of the route.
Anything your nervous about?
The members who leave us after their section, I hope they return safe and well. I am also nervous about the wind speed and if it comes from the East it will feel more like 200 miles.
Club Captain Connor Fleming is hoping to join us, I am nervous that we set off tomorrow and he is still waiting for his bike to be delivered. Perhaps someone can lend him one!!
What made you choose your destination?
I know the route and safer roads, when I was initially riding alone it seemed sensible to build it into the weekend away. We have a house in Cromer and have not visited this year, it seemed the most obvious destination.
Have you done anything like this before?
Not cycling, I have taken on the 7 peaks of Snowdonia, ran a half marathon and took part in a Tough Mudder.
Who is joining you on the Challenge?
Coach Andy Canning who is an ex colleague, ex player and high standard Rugby referee agreed to join me at the end of June. In the last couple of weeks some members and my brother are planning to do a few miles. Then this week the Club legend that is ,Ken Beattie, has booked accommodation in Cromer and is riding the full distance with us. What is even more incredible is at 78 years young, Ken will cycle back home the next day.
What is the itinerary for the day?
We will meet at the club to set off about 7am, where we will work our way to Yaxley via Oundle for our first coffee stop. Then make our way to Kings Lynn for lunch, where my wife Zoe will meet us and supply drinks. We then make our way to Cromer via Sandringham, Doking and Sheringham. Andy’s wife Zoe, will meet us before Sheringham for coffee and re stocking.
We hope to arrive at Cromer Pier between 4pm and 5pm
Anything you would like to say before we let you get back to training?
Just want to say a big thanks to everyone who has supported us so far and helping us move to the overall £30000 target in the future.
Tom sets off at 7am from our Clubhouse on Occupation Road on 27th August. He has taken on this huge challenge to help raise funds for your club, his club, our club! If you would like to make a donation to his Just Giving page you can do so here.
We wish tom the best of luck and will be keeping you informed of his progress throughout the day.