St Mary’s Man To Cycle Across Pyrenees

Duncan Nichols, during an earlier ride in the Alps

A St Mary’s Man is to cycle coast-to-coast across the Pyrenees in five days to raise money for the St Mary’s Hospital League of Friends.

Duncan Nicholls, a keen cyclist says the route will start at Biarritz on the 11th September, and will take in a total of 11,000 metres of inclines.

Duncan first started preparing for the challenge almost two years ago and has been training up to five times a week. He currently gets in around 140 miles of cycling a week around St Mary’s and, while there are no mountains in Scilly, he says he tries to do a few laps up the steep roads to airport or the golf club in the mornings.

From Radio Scilly

Duncan describes his preparations for the upcoming ride across the Pyrenees

He also told us he’s had previous experience of riding in the Alps so knows what he’s let himself in for and he says the steepest part of his route will be around 12%, which is similar to the hill near Juliet’s Garden.

Duncan says there’s a lot of distinct technique in cycling up mountains, including special pedals and making sure the strain is taken by the heart and lungs, not the legs.

The whole ride is only 470 miles, but he says the gradients are what makes it really difficult, with some mountains rising to nearly 2000m high.