We had this little chat with Chris Hall some time after his huge 107for107 challenge.
Talking about him, his big heart and his unlimiteless passion for cycling.
Cycling in it own right is challenging but accessible to everyone. It’s something I have always done and always loved.
When & how often do you ride your bike?
I ride pretty much every day. I ‘train’ maybe 5/6 times a week but on my rest days I use the bike as my mode of transport to get around London
How do you feel when riding your bike?
I love the freedom and the social aspect of cycling. There simply is nothing like it. If I’m stressed or in a bad mood, going for a cycle usually resolves that.
What’s the purpose of cycling?
Its an incredible sport, social but equally you can make it as hard as you want. The ability to explore open roads is very special
Do you prefer soloride or with mates?
Always with company. I only tend to ride on my own when I’m doing some certain specific training. It’s normally because I have to concentrate on those kind of rides,
How did cycling change your life?
I’ve cycled for years. It has always been a part of my life.
Who is the greatest cyclist ever?
Ooh tough question!! For me in mens road racing Mark Cavendish and his lead out train are some of my favourites. Berne Eissel is a real gent in the peloton. I would say that Bradley Wiggins for his diversity has to be up there too and you can’t deny it that Eddie Merckx has got to be one of the greatest cyclists of all times. I’ve got to say it too, our current World Champ, Petr Sagan is incredible to watch. In the ladies cycling scene Marianne Vos for her diversity across many different disciplines, cyclocross, road and TT. The British sisters Hannah and Alice Barnes have been going from strength to strength. Former world champion Lizzie Deignan is another I always watch. (We also have the same birthday).
Who influenced your way of cycling?
I think there are many different things that have influenced my way of cycling. I have family from the Isle of Man so Mark Cavendish, as a child was a huge inspiration. I used to be pretty good at sprinting and time trialing. I guess for endurance riding I am more influenced and inspired by my friends. Laura Scott who did the Trans America Road Race last year with a dislocated shoulder, Josh Ibbett who won the Trans continental in 2015. Rob Quirk who built his and many other bikes for these kind of endurance rides. My coach Ken Buckley; he holds the British Land Speed Record (he did 125.5kph!) I’m incredibly lucky to call these people my friends and they inspire me to do these challenges.
How were the thoughts during your 107 challenge?
The challenge was mentally incredibly tough, probably more than physically. Forcing yourself to get up at around 4am every day, ride, go to work, ride after work and sleep every day for 3 and a half month took its toll. You can blank out the aches and pains. Its when your mind starts playing games it becomes tricky.
Did you meet someone important during your everyday challenge?
I did a lot of miles on my own. I met strangers who became friends during the challenge and it cemented existing friendships.
Best day and worst day?
The best day was when a group of maybe 40 riders turned up to support me in Regents one morning. I had no idea. My friends organised it and it really hit me emotionally. The worst day would have been when I had suspected food poisoning for two days and it took me 9 hours on those two days to get the distance done..
What about pain did you change your way of thinking about it? And struggle?
You can mentally blank out pain and aches. Your body gets used to it. It’s only when you truely stop, day 108, where you actually realise how sore the body is. Pain is all in your head.
How do you feel now? Is your way of cycling changed?
I’ve been struggling a bit lately as it feels like a huge void has gone and I have some how gained so much extra time. Having structured training has helped combat this and my head is focussed towards what’s next
That’s a secret but also something that I am trying to work out at the moment. One thing is for sure, it will be to keep helping The PACE Centre.