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Posted on 10 August 2016
in News

Surrey100 on a Brompton for BBC Media Action


Steve Lipscombe, a Senior Project Manager for BBC Media Action, recently cycled his first century - the Surrey100 - and he did it on a Brompton.

I’d never done anything like this before. When I first volunteered to take part I thought it would be a good excuse to get fit and a bit of fun but the scale of the challenge soon hit me – 100 miles is a really long way.

So why did I do it? For me the answer was simple.

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal last year I spent two months in Kathmandu working on our Lifeline radio programme. This vital show provided people with practical and actionable information on where to find food, water and shelter to help them survive, cope and recover.

I saw the impact of the charity’s work first hand, and by taking on this challenge I know the money raised will help BBC Media Action respond quickly to those in need around the world.  

After two months of training, commuting to and from work, some spin classes and weekend rides in the countryside around London, I felt as ready as I could be.

The day itself was incredible. I packed a small backpack with supplies, put on my padded shorts and headed towards the start. 

Having the roads in London shut down so you can ride a bike around – with more than 27,000 other cyclists – is pretty special.

And riding alongside a team of 20 other people also tackling the course on Bromptons created a real team spirit.

At the start line in the Olympic Park we were getting a lot of love from the other cyclists and the crowd who couldn’t believe we were riding 100 miles on Bromptons. Most of us managed to ride together for the first 40 miles – a bit like a Brompton peloton - before we became separated.

Climbing Box Hill was the toughest part but I managed to pass someone on a Boris bike so it could have been worse. And I did manage to hit more than 30mph on the descent.

There were fuel stops along the way but I had a stash of cold potatoes in my bag to keep me going. I had no idea how much you can crave a potato.

I was surprised how hilly the ride back into London was and the last 15 miles really hurt but going down The Mall with spectators cheering and Buckingham Palace ahead of me was an awesome feeling.

I feel genuinely proud to have finished in 8 hours and 16 minutes, it was an experience I’ll never forget.

You can support the BBC Media Action team and donate here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/support-us/donate

BBC Media Action is the international development charity of the BBC and is not funded by the TV License fee. It instead relies on donations from individuals, companies and NGO’s to continue its vital work.