‘People thought I was wild’: Ipswich’s 3am cyclist rides 700 miles, carries bike up mountain
PUBLISHED: 07:42 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:15 06 August 2020
“If you put yourself through the hard stuff, life becomes easier” - that is Alex Pilgrim’s motto after he rode a mammoth 700 miles and carried his trusty bike up England’s tallest mountain.
The 22-year-old had been cycling the streets of Ipswich in the dead of night in preparation for the gruelling charity ride in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK, rising at 3am to fit in a two-hour ride before work every day.
The soon-to-be Royal Marine needed every bit of preparation, describing a 40-mile stretch through the Peak District as “absolute hell” on his way to Scafell Pike in Cumbria.
Once he got there, he stunned onlookers by carrying his wheels for the whole nine-hour, 978-metre mountain trek in sweltering heat - saying: “I wanted my bike to see the top of the mountain with me.”
He said that “people thought I was wild” - but, as if that wasn’t enough, he then rode 350 miles back home and defied all the odds to cycle 160 miles in one go.
Even just part of the challenge - which Alex finished 48 hours early, in eight days rather than 10 - would be an impressive feat, yet all together was nothing short of extraordinary.
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However Alex, who was joined for part of the journey by school friend David Hooley, said: “It is more about training your mind than the body.
“My toes were in agony - but if you put your mind past that, in the end you become a stronger person.
“If you put yourself through the hard stuff, life becomes easier.
“I’m not one who likes to wake up early in the morning - but I disciplined myself to keep doing it through my training.
“Early morning routines will enforce that when you do the hard stuff regularly, other things will become easier.”
Alex, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich - who works as a tug driver at Felixstowe Docks - was due to join the Royal Marines this year but had his entry delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.
He embarked on the ride on from Monday, July 27 in honour of his father Carl, who has limb girdle muscular dystrophy.
Dan McNally, head of regional development at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Cycling 700 miles over 10 days is no mean feat, and we are hugely impressed by this effort.”
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