On the 30th of July I’m taking part in the 2017 Prudential Ride London. A brilliant event that will see thousands of cyclists roll around the closed roads of London, giving it their best impressions of Bradley Wiggins or Laura Trott. (I’m always Laura Trott, just so you know. Not sure why. I just feel I’m more a Trott than a Wiggo).
I’m raising money for The Bike Project which, as you know, is a wonderful charity that refurbishes bikes that have been abandoned, thrown away or left to rust and then donates them to refugees and asylum seekers.
Anyone who cycles will know what owning a bike means to them. For me it’s the feeling of personal freedom. Sitting on a bike gives me the feeling of possibility. That I have the potential to go anywhere. It’s a powerful thing. So being able to give a bike to a refugee or asylum seeker who has faced many hardships and who has very little is not only hugely practical (saving each recipient masses of money in travel costs) but is also a potent symbol of freedom and ownership.
I’ve volunteered for the charity for over a year and now work for them as a freelance mechanic, so I’ve seen first hand the good work it does and what it means to the recipients of the bikes. I’m very proud to be riding for them in this event.
Onto the ride itself. I love riding my bike, and although riding 100 miles is always a challenge, I’m pretty confident that I could take it steady and get around the course and probably have a lovely time doing it.
But where’s the fun in that? I want to earn your money. So, to make sure I don’t take it easy, I’m going to commit to doing the 100 miles in under 4 hours and 15 minutes. To hit that time, I’m going to need to average about 24mph over the whole course. Ouch. I genuinely don’t know if I can do this. But I’m going to give it a go.
And for a little bit of extra motivation and to put my own money where my mouth is, I promise to donate a fiver for every minute I go over my set time, so this could go spectacularly wrong for my bank balance. But if you’re donating some cash, then the least I can do is risk some of my own (On a side note, your donations aren’t affected by me achieving this time or not. It’ll only affect how much I personally throw into the pot.)
Small print, we’ll take the time from my Garmin bike computer, and it’ll be my “moving” time we use, not my “total” time. Basically, my Garmin will not count any time I spend stationary. I don’t intend to stop at all, but this will mean that I won’t go bankrupt if I get held up due to things beyond my control. I hope that’s acceptable to all.
Right, that’s it. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. If you are able to donate then please click on the link below and it will take you to my fundraising page. Thanks in advance for any donations you can give. It’s hugely appreciated.