Biking the Boundary 14-17 September 2018



Hi my name is Jim Thomason, welcome to my site to raise money and awareness for BMC Mend Our Mountains.  As an employee of the Peak District National Park I have been aware of this year’s Mend Our Mountains campaign for some time now.  I  am an avid mountain biker (well I’m more of a Shimano guy really) and enjoy exploring so I also spend a lot of my spare time looking at maps of the National Park and planning routes.  When looking at the map recently I thought how well the north east of the boundary follows roads, bridleways and tracks.  This got me thinking, link this to The Pennine Bridleway and that’s almost half of the boundary covered.

I would like my fund raising to go directly to the Cut Gate fund (Just Giving Page).  As a keen mountain biker I am fully aware of the National importance of this trail.  The increased damage to the landscape is making the use of this route unsustainable and action is required.  It requires funding as airlifting materials in is the only viable option in this remote location, more than the volunteer trail building work that has been used so effectively to repair other bridleways.   The inclusion of Cut Gate will be a diversion where we will ride from Langsett to Howden and back to continue around the boundary.

I’d come up with the concept so it was time I asked myself a few questions;

How long would it be?

I tend to work in Kilometres just from being used to reading metric maps.  I worked out the route including the extras and detours to be about 380km (238miles).

How long would it take?

Going on 100km a day, 4 days.

Could I even do this?

After a serious injury about 10 years ago I have always been very careful not to over-do it.  Until last year the longest I would ride for was about 3 hours and always struggled after a winter off the bike.  Recently I have been extending these distances and have discovered that as long as I pace myself that 100km a day would be achievable.  I was lucky enough to be able to do Wildside which is a 4 day stage race over some of the most amazing scenery on the West Coast of Tasmania, 280km in 4 days.  Sadly the event is no longer running.  I have also done a 100km mtb race and various 24hour races.  So sure, why not.

When would I do it, and with whom?

Well I need a bit of time to build up my fitness for this, September is often nice and after school holidays in case accommodation is required.  The accommodation side is still being worked out.

14-17th September 2018  

I have had a few work trips with a colleague, Mark Anderson, and we’ve always tagged on a few extra days to get some mountain biking in.  Mark also rides road bikes and fell runs so his fitness is way above mine but that’s never been a problem, he doesn’t mind waiting for me at the top of the climbs and I don’t mind waiting for him at the bottom of the tricky descents.

I put the idea to Mark and was pleased that he was up for it.  Throughout this site and the blog entries you will notice I mainly refer to ‘I’.  Due to both of our family commitments myself and Mark will not always be able to train together (he doesn’t really need to train for this anyway).  Also it’s worth noting that I refer to ‘training’.  Please bear in mind that one of my mottos used to be ‘mountain bikers don’t train, we just ride our bikes more’, so I just use the word training to keep things simple.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and follow my progress through my blog updates.  Please go to the donate page on my site to help me with my fundraising.