City of London Academy 2015

Kareem Kosoko, Pelumi Olaleye

‘back to the future’ theme park cycle

Their story, in their words…

“After months of dieting, preparation, and countless hours of training, we were finally ready. Our journey began from Burgess Park, from which we smoothly cycled to Chessington Theme Park. We set off for the second leg of our journey, towards Thorpe Park, but already we began to have doubts about whether we had the ability to cycle and navigate the full distance there. Although, it took an enormous amount of our energy and morale to cycle through hills which seemed to go on forever, (the slightest of roads sent unendurable pain through our legs), we somehow managed to find the determination to push ourselves there. Although, some of the pathways we were forced to cycle through were absolutely atrocious, (e.g. there came a point where we had to cycle through a nest of thorns and horse poop) we made it through the day mentally & physically drained but unscathed as well.

If we thought that the first day of our journey was physically draining and mental torture, we were in for a rude awakening. Not only did we start the day off with much more fire in our legs than anticipated, but the number of hills (low & high) and the amount of effort we had to put in seemed to multiply by 1000. By the time we made it to more or less the halfway point in stage 4 of our journey, we felt like mentally breaking down. We had no water, no food, one of us bizarrely started to cycle bare feet hours before, and all we could do was lay by the side of the pavement and wonder how we were possibly going to get to our final destination. We could not turn back nor did we believe that we had the energy to go forward. We were in limbo.

However, despite what seemed a major setback at the time, 5 hours later (11pm) we were sprinting towards Littlehampton Station, trying to catch the last train going back to London Paddington. How we managed to cycle the full course towards Harbour Park (our final destination) we will never know. However, we are eternally grateful towards Mark Evison for not only enabling us but challenging us to get through this major test and giving us a new view of the world in front of us.”