Our Nick’s had a hard time of it in the past year or two. A painful back injury didn’t get any better and had to be fixed with some drastic surgery. The road to recovery has been a long one, but his determination to ‘get back out there’ saw him take part in the Bolton Bash Sportive recently.

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photo: Sportsunday

Ok, so a 35 mile cycling sportive with a few lumps isn’t the most taxing of challenges. For me though this was my first event of 2014 and definitely the most important as a confidence builder following back surgery.

The Bolton Bash plays on the Lancashire theme with a brass band at the start line, flat caps and two great courses (It’ll Be Reet and Ecky Thump) taking in the best of the countryside with big climbs. My only aim was to get around the short course without undoing my surgeons good work. Sticking to my plan, I used all the gears to spin easy up the larger ascents and dropped back to the finish line 2 hrs 20 mins later. With the occasional traffic light, sportives can never really be a true race but I was surprised to get 9th overall and 4th in category considering my legs have not seen the light of day all summer. As events go, I would definitely recommend it for roadies, and with my confidence improving I’m looking forward to some winter riding to rediscover my quads and glutes.