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Ibbo's Cake Quest REVIEW

by Mark Tearle

Words and Images by Mark Tearle: Well, aren't we enjoying a beautiful Indian summer this week.  What started out as a quiet misty morning turned in to one of the hottest September days that I can ever remember.

John Ibbotson died suddenly in August 2005 of arythmagenic right ventricular dysplasia, otherwise known as sudden cardiac death.  He was 27.  John was a champion of the sport of cycling. In his younger years a professional cyclist, riding for Gore Bike Wear, Team Synergy, RDM Flanders and later Team Endura before heading home to set up Fit-For with Stephen Bayliss, a company specializing in coaching cyclists and triathletes.  

A tragic loss and with the impetus to do something in memory of a popular figure a fund was quickly established in the name of John Ibbotson that would help support a young rider. A selection process was established in 2008 and the fund now supports 2 or 3 young hopefuls annually.

The Ibbo Cake Quest, is one of 3 annual events that supports the John Ibbotson Fund as well as the CRY Charity (Cardiac Risk in the Young) here in the UK.  

Starting out from the Community Centre in Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey I opted for the more sedate 110KM 'Carrot Cake' route as opposed to the more boisterous 'Fruit Cake' ride at 150KM.  

Two other routes are available, the 'Jaffa Cake' 60KM and the 'Fairy Cake' 20KM which is a guided off road route taking in the North Downs.The atmosphere at the Community Centre was rather serene, like meeting old pals for a club run.  

Registration was simple, find your number, sign the form, receive your pack which included an electronic timing chip, rider number, route card (including emergency details) and a Maxifuel Gel. I have to mention that there was plenty of parking and the start was well organised.I set off on my own feeling comfortable about the miles ahead.  

There is something really nice about cycling in Surrey.  I guess it is the fact that the roads are generally teaming with other riders. On this particular day there were two other independent events taking place, which at first was quite confusing but since the Ibbo Cake Quest signage was utterly unique it never became a problem.The routes and especially the route splits were particularly well engineered.  

Not only did the routes take in the very best of what the Surrey Hills and the North Downs had to offer but the course was extremely well marshalled at key points.  

The route crossed over itself a number of times which was never an issue, until I made the rookie mistake of missing a passage and continuing down the A24 towards Horsham when I should have taken a left turn towards Rusper.  

A slight detour of about 20KM or so I made it back on track at Rusper and joined Siggy and Michelle.  We chatted of this and that and it transpired that both are Sisters of Mercy, Specialist Nurses for the NHS and very keen triathletes.  

Michelle is also a champion for the Breeze Network. The Breeze Network is an initiative funded by the lottery grants fund and British Cycling, organised and run by women for women which aims to encourage more ladies to take up cycling as a pursuit.  More information can be found here.  

With over 3000 feet of climbing this event is no walk in the park. The route takes on some of the best climbs in the area, including Leith Hill and White Downs and some nice hills near Godstone. That is not to say that it was overly challenging, there was plenty to see along the route and the warmth of the sun on this day made the ride all the more exceptional.  

The Maxifuel sponsored feed stops were well stocked with excellent Maxifuel products; gels, carbohydrate energy drink and energy bars, though I understand from Michelle that they had run out of many things as she passed by with Siggy on the second run through. Having said that, there was another manned feed stop near Outwood, which was a pleasant surprise. 

The final climbs towards the finish were testing on tired legs, but the leafy lanes of Surrey holding plenty of interest, the tree canopy still holding on to some colour.

I have no hesitation in recommending this event. The organisation was excellent, the route well planned, brilliantly signposted and exceptionally well marshalled and it is for a very worthy cause.  I speak for everyone who took part; the cakes at the end are a splendid and delicious reward.

Further information about John Ibbotson can be found here and the John Ibbotson Fund here. Details about the CRY Charity here  

Please stop by and rate the event here or post a comment under this piece. 

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28th September 2011 11:23pm Siggy wrote:

Great review of a great day out on the bike. The review gives a real flavour of how it was. Will definitely put Ibbo's cake quest on my cycling calendar for next year and aim for the fruit cake route. Can then justify eating extra cake...

10th November 2017 6:43am prakash wrote:

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