Ben Bareham has been busy since we met him at the end of 2018. What started as a way to get fit and lose weight has become a real passion and Ben has accumulated a stack of medals over the course of 2019 from all his cycling events. We caught up with him to find out how the year went.
2019 is drawing to a close and the days are getting shorter and colder. As I look back on my year on two wheels, I have to say that I have just thoroughly loved it.
My challenge at the start of the year was to complete two multi-stage sportives in a three week period with a 100-mile sportive in the middle just for fun. I'd never done a multi-day event before so this would be a real test.
The first of these was the Tour of Wessex, three stages of 100 to 120 miles each. It was almost over on the second day when I crashed and damaged my wrist in the fall. I somehow managed to wobble back to the finish and pushed on through the pain the next day. I had to - this was all about me and whether I could do it.
Having completed Wessex, next up was the 100-mile Tour of Cambridgeshire. I must have been riding into good form in Wessex as this ended up being my fastest 100-mile ride so far - five hours twenty minutes!
The last of the three challenges was the three-day Dragon Ride Tour in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. I was so proud to cross that final finish line, especially in the face of the typical Welsh weather. It was a mark of how far I'd come, mentally and physically. I still smile when I look at the photos and Strava files as they remind me of the progress I've made in a short time.
Having completed what I set out to do, there was no way I was going to stop. In the months that followed, I also took on Ride London, the World Championship Yorkshire Sportive, and most recently Red Bull Time Laps.
I’ve loved being out on the bike in so many new places, meeting so many like-minded people and I'm still really enjoying my Sunday excursions with my club. I’m now also just a few good rides away from totalling 10000km cycled this year - how cool is that? So as 2020 edges nearer, set yourself some goals. And enjoy doing it because you can.
For Ben Bareham, nothing beats the feeling of being on two wheels.
Just a couple of years ago, the effects of overworking were taking their toll on his mental and physical health. He took up cycling to lose weight and improve his fitness.
It wasn’t all plain sailing. His first 100-mile sportive was a race against the broom-wagon. Suffering from cramp in both legs, his persistence paid off and he finished inside the time-cut.
Ben stays motivated by riding with friends and loves the freedom of being able to just get on his bike and go. He’s looking forward to three main events this year, all taking place during the same two weeks!
Ben's 2019 Challenges
What's in Ben's kit bag?
These bib tights have a very comfortable chamois and the fleece-backed material feels amazing. They keep me warm on cold days but they don’t feel too thick. Highly recommend.
Versatile thermal jersey that’s fleece-lined and breathable. I’ve worn it under a jacket in harsh, low-temperature conditions. On milder winter days, it's perfect layered over a warm base layer.
The fit and quality are amazing. The full fleece lining means it's comfortable to wear as a jersey. In unpredictable conditions, it's a great outer weatherproof layer. It's become my go-to piece of cycling kit this winter. I love it!
Super-comfy and warm. So warm in fact that I haven’t been on many rides cold enough to wear it yet.
My go-to socks this winter! Extremely warm and comfortable. I pair them up with Array for absolutely zero cold toe problems during sub-zero commutes.
This overshoe does it all. My feet stay warm and dry. The fit and durability of the materials used is excellent.