Man of Sperrin Stories: Alan Campbell

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Man of Sperrin Stories: Alan Campbell

Described by his pals as being ‘never off the road’ Alan Campbell completed the inaugural Man of Sperrin. And he made brilliant videos in the process! Check it out below…

Where are you from?

Originally from Coleraine but now a Claudy native.

How long have you been cycling?

14 years

How did you get into cycling?

I always cycled as a kid and teenager, then took up road biking in my late twenties to try to get fit again. Since then I’ve taken up competitive racing and helped out with the running of our local club North West CC.

Are you part of a cycling club? If so who?

North West CC

How did you hear about Man of Sperrin 2017?

A few club mates did it in 2016 and recommended it. They said what a tough day it was and I fancied the challenge

What made you decide to accept the challenge?

It is always hard to beat a good sportive and great to have one in the most scenic mountains in our wee country

Did you train much in advance?

My pals would say I’m never off the road. I’d average 8 to 10 hours a week between commuting to work and long weekend club spins.

How well prepared were you for the hills?

I’d done Big Ben maybe 5 or 6 times before so I knew how brutal it can be. Every time i do it I swear it will be the last as it’s a lung buster and I’m not exactly built for the big steep hills. Lol

Did you train specifically for the Man of Sperrin route?

I paid big Ben a visit a couple of weeks before just to remind myself of the torture, but other than that nothing specific.

What do you remember most about Man of Sperrin 2017?

The trepidation as we approached Benbradagh, then as the road rose up the pace slowed, the heart rate went into the red and just trying to keep the legs turning. The best bit was the encouragement from the spectators at the bridge and the sound of the cowbells. Oh and I also remember passing my buddy Nigel who was in the ditch fixing a puncture but he is well experienced so I didn’t stop ha ha.

Are you taking part in 2018?

If I can survive with no training spills then that is the plan.

What is your target?

Get round it.

Any tips or advice for those thinking of taking on Man of Sperrin for the first time in 2018?

Take in the views from the tops of the big hills it makes the pain worth every bit of it, and watch out for sheep on the descents (they got me on the Birren in 2016)!


Check out Alan’s view as he rides Man of Sperrin 2017!