Today we will be heading to the capital to cheer on our amazing RideLondon team as they cycle 100 miles in aid of MS-UK. In this guest blog, Paul Reeve tells us why he's taking on the challenge...
I’m Paul and I’m riding for MS-UK in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 today!
I started dabbling with a bit of cycling about 6 years ago after I’d given up playing squash. It all started with poodling about on Ashtead common on a mountain bike doing no more than a few miles at a time. Then came the bi-weekly pub cycle, again just a few miles. After a while the distances grew and I tried a few Sportives, the first being 33 miles of London Bridges. As I got to a 50 mile one I borrowed a hybrid from a friend for some training and couldn’t believe the difference so that was soon followed by a hit to the credit card. After that I did the London Nightrider in 2013 which was a real test as it’s through the night. For someone who needs his sleep like I do I have no idea how easily I managed this ride. In 2015 I rode to Paris with my Son on a totally self-managed ride, choosing the shortest route available of course. By then I’d got bike no.3 – a road bike, something I never intended, much like all the clothing and accessories that I never thought I needed.This is my 2nd chance at the ride thanks to the lovely people at MS-UK as I was meant to do the ride in 2015 (and was feeling reasonably confident after Paris) when I ejected from my bike with one week to go. A cracked rib and punctured lung were the result and I still don’t know to this day what made me come off, all within a mile from home on a perfectly sunny day and without a pothole in sight.
Anyway, here we are again 2 years later. Preparation could not have been worse, particularly the past month, so I’m not feeling too confident with 70 miles as my max mileage to date, but I’ll give it a go. At least the hilly part is my local territory so maybe a bit of local knowledge could come in handy. I’m just hoping I can arrive at the Leatherhead hub with a degree of dignity intact so that my home fans aren’t too disillusioned.
I’ve raised a bit more this time to go with my £600 from 2015 and all for a very worthy cause. I lost my cousin Jeff to MS at the tender age of 44 in that year which is why I have to see this thing through. He had the most Christmas Cracker type sense of humour but always had a joke and a smile.
Good luck to all my fellow riders, especially the MS group.
Good luck to everyone taking on RideLondon today, we’ll be near Trafalgar Square cheering our hearts out with our wonderful volunteers. Look for the purple!