Long distance test for cyclist Danial

A LONG distance cyclist from Todmorden is taking part in the Paris-Brest-Paris 1,220km long bike ride next month.

More than 5,000 riders will ride from Paris to Brest in under 40 hours, before turning around and heading back to Paris.

Danial Webb, 39, works as a policy officer with Wakefield Council, but has lived in Todmorden for two years and runs events with the local club Condor Road Cycling Club.

The French event takes place from August 21 - 24 and Danial starts at 9pm on the first day.

It is not a race and there is no prize for coming first, however riders will have just under four days to complete the course.

The style of riding, known as Audax, is increasingly popular in the UK.

The national association, Audax UK, has over 5,000 members, ordinary people who achieve amazing feats of cycling through sheer determination and the camaraderie of their fellow cyclists.

Danial said: “I’ve been into long-distance cycling now for about six years.

“I started when I bought a cheap bike to ride to work on to lose some weight, and started to ride longer and longer distances.

“Then I came across Audax UK’s website (www.aukweb.net), the long distance cycling association, and began to ride their events.”

Within a year, he was riding 600km (around 375 mile) events through the Welsh mountains.

“They’re such a friendly and welcoming association, with thousands of members who are just ordinary people, riding incredible distances through the day and night.

“I’ve not done any specific training, other than riding to work every day, and my qualifying events.”

These events were distances of 125, 180, 250 and 375 miles, the last being a ride from Stockport to Aberystwyth, Shrewsbury, Cannock and back to Stockport.

“I plan a long ride down to London in a few weeks, starting from Todmorden in the evening, and riding through the night to get to London the next day,” said Danial.