Abbey, nine, gets set for 120-mile cycle marathon
PUBLISHED: 18:35 27 July 2018
Copyright Christopher Grover
Braving the heat, Abbey Thompson will tomorrow saddle up for a 12-hour bike ride from London to Dunwich - an impressive feat considering she is just nine years old.
Abbey has been cycling since she was four but this weekend she is taking on the biggest challenge of her young life: the Dunwich Dynamo.
She will set out from London Fields, near Stratford, cycling 120 miles to the seafront in Dunwich.
Abbey, a rider for the Ipswich Velo team, has mixed feelings about the colossal challenge. She said: “I am really excited but also a bit worried.
“I am not sure how long I can stay awake.”
A support car will be following her the entire way with her dad Leon and his friend Mark also cycling alongside her as she completes the course to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The hospital helped her younger brother Callum who had three kidney operations there before his first birthday.
Now aged five Callum also enjoys cycling.
Abbey’s dad Leon Thompson said: “It was her own idea.
“I tried to talk her out of it but I think that she feels that it means more.”
In training Abbey has been covering around 50 to 60 miles, which in itself is a lot further than she covers in the 20-minute races she is used to.
Mr Thompson says that one of the biggest learning curves has been curbing Abbey’s speed.
“She does a lot of racing. This is a long thing for her. She rides at 21mph round Kesgrave.”
She has even been known to overtake her dad. “I am getting older, she is getting stronger and faster,” he said.
Abbey’s ride will be around 10 miles longer than her fellow participants as she will stop off to see her friends from Stonham Aspal Primary School as well as other supporters along the way.
She is hoping to raise £1,000 for GOSH, her total currently stands at around £350.
Abbey hopes that one day she will be able to compete with the top cyclists from around the world like her heroes Lizzie Deignan and Mark Cavendish.
“I would really like to be in the Olympics so everyone knows me. I would like to do road races.”