First Entrant to Revolve24 Australia 2020 and his story
Written by Steven Ellison
WHAT BROUGHT ME TO ENTER REVOLVE24 2020
My name is Steven Ellison, I’m 60 years old and I am addicted to cycling!
That sounds like the start of an addiction anonymous meeting! In some ways it could be as I am addicted to cycling, I am a cyclist! The main goal is to live healthy and to enjoy my senior years the best I can and that means by staying fit and healthy.
I have not always be so conscientious towards my health but have made amends for my bad doings towards my body. I left work about 12 years ago after running my body into the ground. I had reached 120kg’s , before leaving work, smoking 60 cigarettes a day and drinking maybe a dozen cups of coffee each day too!
The day I left work was the last day I smoked a cigarette! I started walking lots. I took up training to walking the Adelaide City to Bay 12km event. I managed a 23rd placed walker which made me feel really achieved. On my 50th birthday, to the day, I started running. 12 months later I entered the Greenbelt and Barossa Half Marathons of which I completed at around 1h43m each impressing myself. So that was June 2011. I did so well I decided to train for the 2011 Adelaide Full Marathon. Just over a month out from that event I ran the full distance in just under 4 hours and so was ready to taper. A few days later I went out to run an easy 12k and was unable to run a few hundred metres! I had blown my knees up!
A long story short, after advice to my wife from the doctors at her work, Lynn dragged me all around Adelaide to by a bike. I had not ridden one since I was a teenager but apparently you never forget how to ride a bike! After much procrastination I did settle on one, an EMC R2.4 from Glenelg Cycles. A new cyclist was born!
I was instantly addicted to cycling. Within 12 months I signed up for the Redliners Milano Classics, a single day ~240km group ride. I was not, and am still not, a fast rider but appear to be more suited to endurance riding.
Within a few years I had managed several long solo rides including a solo 320km/200 mile ride to Blanchtown and back. Then, in 2017 I gained a new partner, affectionately named Harry! Harry the hernia. Stuck on the public health waiting lists, all I could do was take it easy.
My wife, Lynn, who has been a type 1 diabetic since she was a teenager, had not even ridden on 2 wheels as a child, felt I was having far too much fun cycling, decided to learn to ride after less than 12 months of me taking it up. So, Lynn, Harry and I spent most of 2017 riding together.
In 2018, my son David entered the inaugural Australian Revolve24. At this time Harry was a big influence on my life. I had next to no fitness left but was still riding a little. I volunteered to be part of David’s pit crew to support him for the event. Lynn, Harry and I cheered everyone through the entire 24 hours while I did my best to support David . That was in January 2018.
I finally had my hernia repair in March that year. by all measurements my fitness was at a lower level than I had been since starting to run 8 years before. While laying in bed in recovery, after my hernia repair I thought about possible goals to recover my fitness. While still under the influence of the anaesthetic I decided that entering Revolve24 2019 would give me the incentive to train to recover much of my lost fitness! I thought that simply riding 24 hours would not be enough - the plan to Qualify for RAAM was born.
I entered as soon as entries opened and then pondered on if I could achieve this on my own. I came up with the answer that I could not do so.
After checking various coaching options I decided to enlist Pedal Action Cycling Coaches to help me with the next 12 months of training. They provided a weekly plan with some interim goals and some metrics to gauge my progress. At no stage was my 612km target feeling like a comfortable goal! Anyway, with almost 12 months of 5 to 6 days a week of training I was ready and almost as fit as I have been over the last 10 years.
Unfortunately, on the day my knees failed me! In reality I fell short by 102 km’s. Now, 2 months after that attempt, I have decided to do Revolve24 2020. My goal will be the same, 612 km to qualify for RAAM. I have no intention of entering RAAM but I want to achieve the qualifying!
The attraction, well, a smooth traffic free route, comradeship from other competitors second to none and that my goal is in fact possible for me but is still a challenge! What else can you ask for to achieve the next level of what you thought was impossible for oneself!!!