First Time Trial for Jonny

Jonny Ackroyd with Margaret "Maggz" Biggs

Jonny Ackroyd with Margaret “Maggz” Biggs at Bassenthwaite

We are delighted to report a very welcome new recruit to Team Bader Amputees.

Jonny Ackroyd took part in his first Time Trial event at Bassenthwaite on 3rd May. He acquitted himself admirably and, now that he has been taken under the wing of the indomitable Maggz, will go from strength to strength. In fact I gather that far from resting on his laurels, amputee Jonny is scheduled to attempt his first 25-miler with Maggz on Saturday 23rd May at Dishforth in North Yorkshire. Go, Jonny, go!

Jonny has written about his experience below and we hope it will inspire and encourage others to take up the challenge and join Team Bader Amputees. You will be welcomed and supported whatever your level of experience or expertise and become part of this friendly, supportive and dynamic team as well as helping to raise much-needed awareness of amputee cycling. By wearing our cutting edge (and very cool!) bespoke cycling kit (designed by the multi-talented Maggz) you’ll also be raising the profile of the DBF and thereby supporting the charity and its work with amputees.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Team Bader Cycling or Team Bader Amputees, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the post and we’ll direct your query to the person best able to advise.


Jonny Ackroyd

Jonny Ackroyd competing at Bassenthwaite. Photo courtesy Kimroy Photography

So my first Time Trial and my first cycling event representing team Bader. The venue was Bassenthwaite, a small village in Cumbria. I woke at 7-00am after a restless night feeling tired and hungry, I was too early for breakfast at the B&B but had a bag full of chicken pasta and high sugar snacks in my truck ready. On the drive to the ride headquarters the driving rain was so intense I had the window wipers on full and was still struggling to see, not the nicest of conditions for a cycling event! I arrived at the headquarters and signed on and received my numbers just as the nerves started to kick in a little bit. Bumping into Maggz and hearing her reassuring words of wisdom helped to ease them a little. I ran back to my truck and quickly scoffed my chicken pasta and as many calories as possible. I then had the unenviable task of setting up my bike on the turbo trainer in the car park to try warm up, a hard task on what felt like a December morning with ice cold rain beating down! It didn’t help that most of the other competitors had nice tents and marquees to warm up under, I didn’t even have a brolly. Warm up complete I take on a last bit of fluid and an energy gel and set off to the start. Waiting for my time slot to start, I see the girl behind me and recognise her from the velodrome training in Manchester, I know she’s quick and more experienced than me so I quickly think to myself “she’ll be coming past soon” then three places behind me is the very talented and experienced Maggz, and I think the same thing about her. I’m as ready as ever, although not quite, I’d only been back from a family holiday for 5 nights so I’d had very little time to train and prepare for this event. On top of that I was on a brand new bike that I’d only purchased the day after I got back from holiday, I had only managed around 35 miles on it before the event. Clipped into my pedals and being held up waiting for my push start, another new experience, I just kept telling myself don’t worry about everyone else just give it your best and try to enjoy it. The push start seemed to go well and I began, feeling very wet and pretty cold I pushed on as much as my leg and lungs would allow. Even after as little as 2 miles I was looking back to see if I was being caught but there was no one there. At around 6 miles I was feeling really good and still hadn’t been passed, I thought right come on you can go quicker than this and tried to up my pace. This almost seemed like a mistake 2 miles later when what looked like a very small gentle uphill slope felt like a mountain as my quads started to burn. I almost panicked a bit and thought I’d gone too hard too soon, but to my relief a short downhill section followed allowing me to pick up some pace and get a bit of a second wind. By this point I was over half the distance in and felt confident I could give it 100% till the end. After 10 miles to my amazement I caught and overtook the rider who’d started in front of me, a welcomed confidence boost. Shortly after some of the faster abled body riders came past me like I was stood still and I thought wow hopefully I’ll be that fast some day. Coming on to the final stretch with the rain still pouring came a very unwelcome head wind to rub salt into the wounds of my burning chest and quads. But I’d still not been caught by the fast girl who started behind me or Maggz, as I started the last mile and I could feel my energy leaving me Maggz seamed to breeze past me with an encouraging cheer as she did. Maggz and I rolled back into the car park at almost the same time, I was really hoping she’d be pleased with my efforts. She congratulated me with a big hug and told me I’d done really well for my first go, I felt instantly relived, happy and proud to have worn the team Bader Jersey! After a quick team photo it was a mad dash back to the B&B for a hot shower and to try and warm up. Then a mad dash back to the headquarters for the presentation. Once the times were in I was pretty pleased with myself for my first attempt, I completed the 15 miles in a time of 50 minutes and 9 seconds for an average speed of 17.946mph. I was very nearly the slowest competitor but still managed to be a bit quicker than a couple of riders, the quick girl who started behind me never passed me, and I was around 5 minutes slower than Maggz, so I felt pretty happy with that and even though the conditions were awful I’d enjoyed my first ever time trial and was already looking forward to the next one knowing there’s loads of room for improvement.

JA and MB at Bassenthwaite

Jonny Ackroyd at his first Time Trial event with Margaret “Maggz” Biggs. Go Team Bader Amputees!

Thank you, Jonny, for supporting the Douglas Bader Foundation and for taking the time to write this great report. It really gives us all an idea of what it’s like to take part in a Time Trial and a feel for the nerves, effort and sense of achievement involved. Inspirational reading. We hope all goes well on the 23rd and would be delighted to hear how you get on then.

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