Project managing a 24 hour bicycle race

Written by Karl Twort - 24 Sep 2018

As a senior project manager at Fresh Egg, it’s my role to be on the line for managing, scheduling, monitoring and reporting with the teams and technical specialists behind some of the incredible work the agency delivers.  Managing multiple teams of individuals, all with different personality types, ways of working and skill sets, to make sure we deliver our work on time and to the highest standards, all comes with the territory.     

So, 4 years ago, when I decided to take on the 24 hour cycling event, Revolve24, for the first time, little did I know that the skills I use on a Monday to Friday here at Fresh Egg would also be used so heavily on my evenings and weekends as me, and my incredible teammates, prepared to continually improve, test, learn and refine until we managed to take the title … not giving away too much of spoiler, but yes … we won!. 

Revolve24's winning team of MAMIL's led by Fresh Egg senior project manager, Karl Twort. 

You want to ride a road bike for 24 hours, you say?  You must be mad!

It’s no secret that I am a bit of cycling enthusiast.  For me it’s been a life changing journey that, amongst other things, has taught me about true self-discipline and that fact that you can really can achieve anything in life if your hearts in it (but that’s another blog post). 

I was on the hunt for a team challenge for me and my weekend group of M.A.M.I.L’s (middle aged men or maidens in lycra if you weren’t aware of the acronym), which allowed us to enter the seemingly impossible challenge of riding for 24 hours while raising some money for char-i-deeee in the process ... a couple of google searches and a few group messages to my fellow M.A.M.I.Ls later and we were signed up, and I was running, an 8 person team to compete in a 24 hour relay race around Brands Hatch.  Well, it was just too good to ignore …

In that first year we came 11th – not bad for something cobbled together and, to be honest, we had no expectation for ourselves other than to just complete it.  But what year one did give us was the motivation to improve. As a team we bonded, we left full of adrenaline at the sense of accomplishment and, rather than wails of “never again” we were signing up for the following year as soon as we could. 

Over the course of the last 4 years me, and my team mates, have managed, tested, measured and reported on our performance and fast track (bada-boom-tish) to this year, our lessons learned from 3 previous events proved invaluable.  Going into the 2018 event we knew how to handle our nutrition, what is our most effective order of riders and, not least, our sleep patterns.

Dedication.

To take the top spot in the team category, we would collectively need to complete over 480 miles distance in the 24 hours - Training for such an event takes a strong team bond and dedication throughout the weekend.

Optimal stints.

We stuck to our tried and tested approach of 30 minute ‘stints’ – we found this to be the optimal effective time at full effort, to deliver quick laps, reducing the number of change overs and leaving time in between for refuelling.

A strong supporting team.

Our pit garage was a hive of activity throughout the 24 hours, with each rider’s nutrition laid out and areas to get the head down and sleep where possible. 

The plan was implemented perfectly, having ensured we had enough people throughout the sessions to cover swift changeover and encouragement for those heading out in the depths of the night. 

24 hours passed, we had hit every milestone along the way and with everyone in the time completely and utterly exhausted … I am incredibly proud to say we took the top spot, winning the 8 person team event for the 3rd year running!!!

It was a proud moment for me, as the Captain of the Angmering Cycling Club A Team and having the knowledge from previous events we were able to plan our approach and not only take the win, but in the last 4 years raise over £10,000 for Breast Cancer Care, Stick ‘n’ step and Cancer Research charities.  I’d be a fool if I didn’t take up the chance to give my own fundraising a little plug – any donations at all, no matter how small, will be gratefully received 😊for an incredibly worthwhile cause. 

On behalf of me and the team I would like to thank every single person who supported us along the way and, of course, everyone who has been kind enough to donate so far.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!