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Trossachs Ton Founder Adam Cochrane Discusses the Event's Evolution Ahead of Action's 50% Off 'Festive Friday'

by Nick Gregory

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This Friday Action Medical Research are offering a whopping 50% off entry for all of their Ride100 events. One of the most popular events in the series is the Trossachs Ton - here's founder Adam Cochrane on the history of the event.

"It began back in 2008 when the phone rang and my Mum was on the other end saying, "You know how you like that cycling thing? Well my friends from the children's charity Action Medical Research might need your help".  I had no real idea what was going to be involved but I arranged to meet them to discuss an idea they had to run a new cycling event that would help raise much needed funds for the charity.

We arranged to meet up in Edinburgh on a cold and wet day in October. Gathered together with a few other like-minded cyclists in the hotel lobby, we discussed the type of event that would attract the most interest and what sort of area would be most accessible for the majority of the local cycling community. 

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We had all taken part in various events over the years and knew what most people aimed towards as an achievable yet satisfying goal, the Ton.  We also knew from experience that like us, most cyclists are masochistic and so we planned a route that would take in a few interesting climbs along the way.  "Shall we recce the route then?" one of the guys suggested, ''Yes of course", I answered, "What are you doing this weekend?" came the immediate reply, and within a couple of days we had ridden round the 100 mile route that then became the Trossachs Ton.

I've been involved with the event ever since, mostly taking on the role of the starter, which entails making sure everyone is well briefed before beginning their ride.  We've had days of glorious sunshine and only one wet event, but every time all participants have come back full of excitement having conquered the ride.  Some come back year after year to test their time from years past or just to have a great day out with their friends cycling through the beautiful Scottish countryside. I am one of the latter group these days, riding around with my friends after my starter duties have been fulfilled and I never get bored of the route or the hills, especially the Dukes Pass and the Crow Road!

My wife Sally also helps out every year. She's one of the many smiling faces that assists everyone that takes part, from very beginning when they are signing on to welcoming them back afterwards.  As they return to Stirling she hands out the finishers medals and cheers them all home!  But of course neither of us could do this without the help of another family member and the original piece of the puzzle who brought me together with Janet and Cecilia, my Mum.  After all these years she still looks after our two young boys from early in the morning until whenever we fall back through the front door.

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My advice for anyone who wants to take part in the Trossachs Ton or any similar event, would begin with the old adage of 'Fail to Prepare then Prepare to Fail'.  I think everyone knows their limits and how to get themselves physically ready for an event like this, but I think it's the smaller details that actually make it feel a lot more enjoyable:

  • Ensure that you get your bike serviced and ready well in advance of the day 
  • Assemble your cycling kit in advance too and keep it all together in one bag so that you're not scrambling around at the last minute trying to find everything
  • Make sure you have whatever you actually take on the bike in one place too - pump, spare inner tube(s) and tyre levers for example
  • Fuel yourself appropriately on the day. Drink and eat lots and regularly even if you don't feel like you need it at the time. Calculate how much you will need and take a bit extra
  • Enjoy it!

I'll be back again for 2015 so I'll definitely see you all at the start and I might even see some of you out on the road. This will be the first time I'll have tacked the Dukes Pass twice though - so hopefully I'll not be chewing my tongue by the end of it!"

For more information about the Trossach's Ton and the other fantastic rides in the RIDE100 series visit: www.action.org.uk/events/cycling/ride100-series.