Sophie’s 1000km cycling challenge

Sophie Walker, Project Manager at Open Data Manchester and Co-Founder of Dsposal, will be taking part in the All Points North cycling event. Here she explains why she is taking on the challenge and what she hopes to get out of it.

Those of you who know me probably know I can be a little reckless. Well, I think I may have outdone myself this time.

Next week, I will be taking part in All Points North, which is “a self-supported, ultra-distance, endurance cycling event”. I’ll need to pass through 10 control points spread across the north of England. There is no set route. It’s down to me to navigate my way through the check points. Yikes!

The route I’ve worked out is around 670 miles (1080km) and contains over 20,000ft of climbing. Put into context, this is more than some mountains in the Himalayas and the Andes! If that was not enough, I only have 100 hours to make it to the Finishers Meal.

Why am I doing this? There are two answers to this questions. Firstly, I want to challenge myself in a different way to the way I am challenged every day in my working life.

Secondly, I was born in rural Tamil Nadu and these Indian villages have been part of my entire life. I am doing my bit to give back to them by raising funds for Village Service Trust, who will help 750 women and their families through self-help groups. I have seen first-hand the transformational impact this work has and your donations really will make a huge difference.

Now, I know these sporting events can generate quite a bit of waste and unnecessary consumerism, so you might also be pleased to hear that the majority of my gear is over 10 years old and I think the only event merch is the riders hat.

I am not an athlete. I did do an 8700 mile self supported cycle tour around North America with my fiancé (and ODM’s Data Architect) Tom, but that was back in 2015 – and we took 9 months to do it. If we averaged out the mileage it works out at about 30 miles a day (a typical day in the saddle would be 60-80 miles and we obviously had rest days). For All Points North I will need to do about 170 miles per day.  You’ll be pleased to hear I have been training, but I’ve certainly never done anything like this before. It really is a huge challenge for me. So please donate to motivate me and to support women in this poor area of India through Village Service Trust.

You can donate through this link.