Brendan Harrington

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Le Loop - supporting the William Wates Memorial Trust

Le Loop follows the official route of the Tour de France, one week ahead of the professionals and finishes 21 stages later in Nice (due to the Olympics in Paris).

On Friday 21st June 2024 around 100 riders will gather in Florence for the 'Grand Depart'. Some cycle a few days, some ride further. More will join us over the following 3 weeks of the tour.

Riders tackle one of a selection of "Loops" riding anything from 2 to all 21 stages of the Tour de France route. Every participant commits to raising a minimum amount for the William Wates Memorial Trust (WWMT). The fundraised money is entirely separate from the participation fee - donations do not pay for my Tour

All monies raised go directly to the William Wates Memorial Trust whose mission is to help the most disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime and violence and fulfil their potential. This is achieved by giving grants to charities that engage young people through the medium of sports, arts and education.

It's been a tough couple of years for charities and particularly for young people. This is my chance to give something back and help support young people who aren't lucky enough to enjoy the advantages in life that most of us take for granted.

Le Loop is no small undertaking. Riding even ONE stage of the Tour de France route is going to hurt! Please reward my pain by giving generously.

Merci!

My Achievements

My Updates

Girona

Monday 22nd Apr
Useful week's training in Girona. Rides not as long as Le Loop days but plenty of practice climbing long hills. Back to UK roads and weather now!

Two significant landmarks in the past week

Saturday 13th Apr
I've just done my 1st training ride over 200km. Although I've ridden further than this before I've never done it back to back with another 100-miler. Felt surprisingly OK, which shows the training programme must be doing something! 2nd significant thing was reaching 80% of my fundraising target. Still need at least another £600, so keep those donations coming in.

Riding a long way, slowly

Monday 1st Apr
Cycling lore says that the only thing cycling long distances slowly, helps you get better at is .... (spoiler alert) cycling long distances slowly!  This is sniffed at by "serious" cyclists but they miss the point.  It's how you need to prepare for an event like Le Loop.  I use hear t rate monitoring to monitor my progress, and I've noticed that my average heart rate is going down progressively.  Smart devices can tell you how much recovery time you need before your next ride, and this is also dropping progressively.  After a really big ride, it's now 12-19 hrs whereas previously it would often be in excess of 24 hrs.  Both of these are signs that my metabolism is adapting to the huge demands I'm putting on it.  Let's hope that trend continues as I'm still not at the stage where I could do it day after day after day.

First ever back-to-back century rides

Tuesday 19th Mar
A "century ride" is where you ride 100 miles in a  single ride.  I've done this quite a few times but never on consecutive days.  Normally, I'd have several days rest after such a big ride but Le Loop doesn't 'do' rest!  So the training programme we've been given gradually builds you up to ride long distances day after day.  It wasn't as bad as I expected but I was tired the next day, so still some way to go before I'm ready to tackle Le Loop in June.

Building up nicely

Tuesday 12th Mar
Just done my first century ride (100 miles) as part of my training.  I've done a few before but not for a while.  I'll slowly increase the number of 100 mile rides as June approaches.  On Le Loop, this will be the average daily distance!!

A Star is Born

Sunday 3rd Mar
Money from the WWMT via the Star* scheme in Manchester is helping Beatrice fulfill her potential as a rugby player, despite considerable social and logistic barriers which most other youngsters don't have to deal with. In a short period she has already achieved selection for Lancashire U19s. She will travel to France this summer to join us for 1 leg of Le Loop. Sounds easy until you realize that Beatrice never learned to ride a bike. But she's up for the challenge and practicing already! Knowing that the money I raise will help others like Beatrice is a great motivation to me to reach (or even exceed?) my total of £3000.

Turbo. A plus or a minus?

Tuesday 13th Feb
When I first got serious about road cycling, I said I would never get a turbo.  Why sit in your garage when you could be outside?  Then I broke my thumb and had to choose: a turbo or lose all the fitness I had. What l learned was that it's not either/or.  A turbo is a tool which helps you improve fitness and therefore enjoy your road cycling more.  The other big advantage is that, when real life intervenes and you can't spend hours outside, a relatively short turbo session can deliver good training in a much shorter, concentrated form.  It's not a substitute for long rides but it's invaluable if events or lack of time mean you would otherwise do no cycling on a day your training programme says you should do a ride.

Steady progress

Friday 2nd Feb
The frosty weather a couple of weeks back kept me indoors but I made the most of my turbo.  Getting back out on the roads now.  Next challenge is to start doing back to back rides, i.e. no rest day in between.

Now the hard work begins!

Tuesday 16th Jan
Had my first long, cold ride that I would definitely not have done if I wasn't looking ahead to June with a large amount of apprehension.  5hrs, 50 miles, average temp 1 degree C, sleety rain on way home.
Everything I read tells me the only way to be ready for days of punishing back-to-back riding, is to gradually increase how often I go out and how far I go each time.

New Year's Day

Monday 1st Jan
Starting as I mean to go on (?).  Out on my bike on the first day of 2024.  Familiar territory on the challenging slopes of Hope Mountain. I suspect I'll be back often.

It's Christmas!

Wednesday 20th Dec
Cramming in as many mince pies as possible before the training has to start in the New Year. They say that you need 5000-8000 calories a day on a Tour de France stage. I think I'll start by training to eat that much! 

Thank you to my Sponsors

£750

Jon Craton

£200

Tim Harrington

Good luck and enjoy! Tim and Sue

£120

Brendan Harrington

From Mum & Dad. Good luck!

£108

Dave Allen & Siobhán Griffin

£108

Kevin Harrington

Brendan - When we do the Traws Eryri ride together, which will be less than a month before you do Le Loop, can I have a head start? - Kevin

£108

Diana & Ian

An amazing challenge Brendan! Allez Allez!

£100

Pip Mills

Hope the training is going well despite the terrible weather! GOOD LUCK!!!!

£100

Raminder Singh

All the best with the training Brendan! 😀

£100

Howard Williams

Nice one Brendan, massive challenge! Looking forward to hearing how the training is going and of course the big one itself - Good Luck!

£100

Cathey Harrington

Good luck Bren! Enjoy it as well as enduring it! Looking forward to seeing you at the end. All my love Cathey xx

£100

Andrew Orr

... in awe of this commitment, and the excellent cause.

£100

Eckart Schwarz

Best wishes for 2024, and for 'Le Loop'. Great cause. Enjoy !

£85

Hugh & Frances Dolan

£54

Praveen Jauhari

A very noble cause Brendan. Best wishes!

£54

Jude Cope

Bonne chance Brendan!

£50

Rob Ann

Bonne chance. I’m sure it will be a great experience. What time will the highlights be on ITV4?

£50

Gerald Sweeney

£50

Lesley Sweeney

£32.40

Amy Mccartney

Good luck and enjoy! A great cause.

£30

Helen Welch

Hi Brendan. I'm a friend of your brother Kevin, who told me about your fundraising challenge. It sounds amazing! I am spurned on also to donate a little to your really worthwhile cause....as I am currently in Nice on a short break! There are information boards everywhere with the countdown to The Tour d France 🇫🇷 2024 finishing here. The city are clearly excited about it! It's been an education for me. I wish the Le Loop challenge and you all the very best. Sounds superb!

£30

Heather Swainston

Good Luck Brendan! Best wishes Heather. Colum and Rachel x

£30

Sue Allen

Sooner you than me Brendan!! Good luck -- it's a good cause.

£27

Anonymous

This is a huge challenge for a great charity. It will be very tough and I hope you can enjoy it. All the very best and do look after yourself!

£25

Fiona Prichard

Good luck Brendan! It looks quite a challenge but we are sure you will make it!

£25

Chris Harrington

Happy Christmas!

£24

Sheila Sweeney

£10.80

Debra Piper

Good luck Brendan on your epic trip! Best wishes, Debra P

£10

Anonymous

£10

Andy Ashford

All the very best Brendan - what a great challenge and worthy cause!

£10

Nigel Sweeney