Yesterday I took part in a charity event for the Princes Trust. If you have not heard of the great work they do then please take a look here. http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/
I was riding a bike as part of a team (Team Doyle) myself and five men, all who have either rode on charity events before or have had a lot more cycling time then what I have over the last few years! I had one goal and that was to beat them all! Which of course I did with ease! I didn’t however think it would be quiet so easy!The route was 45 miles starting at Buckingham Palace and ending at Windsor Castle ( although the finish line is at Windsor Race course) In all fairness I was expecting the same as the other charity events I have taken part in, or been too in the past, turn up with hundreds of people try to find the route you need to be on and be greeted at the end to a bottle of water and some form of bread/cake bar and a thin metal medal. Not with this event, the hospitality was out of this world (so a big thanks to Saudi Aramco for being part of this event). It was extremely well organised, no chaos at the beginning, well sign written with people clapping and cheering all the way.
The other cyclists were just as amazing, there were a couple of times through the journey were firstly a pedal had fallen off Dan number two’s bike and the nut went down the drain, of which Dan number two decided to try to recover! And also later on when one of the team members had an accident of which I tried to bandage him up, on both occasion either, other cyclists or the team of bike doctors were just out of this world. Everyone helped everyone, whether it be through giving an encouraging word or stopping to see if everything was OK. I have noticed it a lot of late when I have been out on my bike, cyclists seem to look out for each other!
The route itself took me to parts of London I never even knew existed. There are some outstanding places of beauty in London! Richmond Park was one highlight I knew deer’s where at Richmond Park but, I wasn’t expecting to be able to get within a metre of one!
When we had our third stop and the boys finally caught up well three anyway (as the other two where more then likely still down a drain trying to find the bolt for the pedal at this point!) I bumped into a lady who asked me if I was Donna, as I had tweeted her the day before when I was looking at #palace2palace on twitter wishing her well, she realised it was me because I had Tony the Tiger light reflectors onto my bike! Something I had added mainly so my children would recognise me when I passed them and secondly because I am a big kid that never has truly grown up! Anyway that was kind of strange and I was trying hard to rack my brain as to which person she was so I more then likely came across very rude, so if the lady does happen to read this then sorry if I did, and well done on completing.
Other then one section the ride itself was very flat and in turn easy for me to complete. I have since decided that I need to invest in a road bike, even if it is for just events like this, I will always love my mountain bike as I absolutely love off roading and getting muddy. Off road down hills are the best part of cycling in my opinion! But, I would love to have been able to go just that bit faster, something which my bike just couldn’t do!
I made it to within sight of the finish line before the rest of the team and they slowly started coming in, all apart from Dan number two who had no phone on him so we had no idea at this point where he was, so we decided to cross the line without him, he did however make it to the finish around an hour later after the bike doctors had helped him on his way.
I don’t think anyone actually thought I would beat the boys, but little did they all know how fit I actually am. I am proud of myself another achievement and another medal and most importantly that amazing feel good factor, not only did I do something I love doing but I also got to hopefully help some young peoples life’s whilst doing it!
Well done to all that took part.