The appeal of the South Downs Way is one of the Must-Do mountain biker’s rides. To complete the full 100 mile length is one thing but to achieve it 3 times in succession is in a league of its own. The book “Stay Away from the Buttercups” describes the journey of the Triple ride, which dips into several technical areas that may help you achieve your next cycling quest.
"Once the altitude was gained at Butser Hill, near the A3, the general trend is downhill towards Winchester. For a moment I thought ahead 24 hours when I would be coming into Winchester for the second time. Will I still be ecstatic to be riding my bike or would I be itching to get to the finish?
Again my speed increased as I lapped up the miles. I say miles, I wasn’t actually counting the miles. I knew where I had to go, so just got on with it. If at this point I considered that I’d covered 85miles and had 215miles to go, my energy and enthusiasm would drain quickly. I enjoyed the moment and just focused on the trail 5 to 10 miles ahead of me."
24 hours later having ridden 290 miles, it was a very different story.
"I tried to focus. For the first time I couldn’t think what was coming up next on the trail. I knew there was a farm, a road and a field but I couldn’t put them in order. A sense of panic filled my mind, then I realised that this was wasting valuable energy. I just had to work on the moment and get myself through each bit at a time. This was mentally the toughest part of the ride, my mind was fading fast and I knew it. All my mental techniques were exhausted. What’s more, I could feel my shoulders rocking, a classic sign of my weakened core. I could feel my body giving up on me again but I wouldn’t let it. Having got so close, failure was not an option. I was going to get to Winchester."
"This is an amazing read of a epic hard core ride."
"Useful tips for achieving long term goals as well as tips on mountain biking in general."
"Well worth reading ...even if you don't ride a bike!"
"I have ridden on the South Downs Way and know how tough it can be so can't quite get my head around anybody riding it there and back, three times in one go......what a truly awesome achievement!"
"I thought he was nuts to attempt it then. Now, having read the book I know he is bonkers."
"Richard joins the ranks of the Great British Nutcase. A new classic cycling book."
"This book describes how a positive mental attitude, a lot of hard work, and the support of the right people, an everyday enthusiast can not only emulate the top athletes, but take it to the next level."
"This mission tested him to the limits of his physical and mental strengths. His story includes memorable highs and lows of 37 hours of enjoyment and torture. Not an adventure to be taken lightly, Stay Away From The Buttercups, describes in detail the pressures of the challenge and offers a glimpse behind an intensely private person and what makes him tick."