NOTE: This has nothing to do with #gettingmyshittogether but instead is a shameless plug and plea for sponsorship!
A couple of years ago I took part in a charity cycle ride as part of my #40b440 challenge and got the bug! Last year me and my group of merry maidens formed #TeamBadInfluences and between us raised over £3000 for British Heart Foundation cycling the 54 miles from London to Brighton.
This year, as a warm up to Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride, team mate Katie (along with her husband, Andy and his cousin on a tandem) and me will be taking part in the London to Reading bike ride again.
The BHF has helped halve the number of people dying from heart and circulatory disease in the UK but sadly every day hundreds of people lose their lives. It’s only thanks to support from people like us that the BHF can create new treatments and discover new cures. £25 could pay for an hour of research by an early career scientist, but every pound helps so please give what you can to help me hit my target:
Those of you who follow my on social media know how much I go on about cycling and my two rides planned for this year: the London to Reading and London to Brighton, both in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Well last Saturday at 07:00, #TeamBadInfluences’ Katie and I were chauffeured by my wonderful husband, Sam, to Kempton Park Racecourse for our 40-mile ride to Reading.
I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t quite what we’d expected – there were far more normal people there and less ‘elite’ athletes, so we didn’t feel too far from home! We left Kempton just after 08:00 and followed our route through Sunbury, Shepperton, Chertsey and into Virginia Water.
We realised at this point, we really weren’t far from home and that this was pretty easy… low and behold, once we got into our own territory of Waltham St Lawrence, Shurlock Row and Hare Hatch, psychologically, it became a little more difficult. We entered Henley with the knowledge that the worst was yet to come… Harpsden Hill. I faltered at the beginning and asked Katie if she wanted, like so many others ahead to walk; thankfully she said no and we persevered together to the top.
Now we were on the road to home, with only 6 more miles to go. We hit a whopping 32.7mph down Playhatch hill (naughty I know!), and glided into Caversham where we finally, 2 hours and 53 minutes later, found our finish line.
Pretty pleased with our little ‘warm-up’, now more hill training in preparation from London to Brighton in June!
You can still sponsor, Katie, me and all of #TeamBadInfluences for this and the London to Brighton bike ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation at: justgiving.com/teams/badinfluences
In October 2015, a group of girls from Twyford, Berkshire, decided over far too many Coronas and Sauv Blancs to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride on 19 June 2016 to raise money for British Heart Foundation.
Within two months, they went from riding around the village in stilettos on their pub bikes to owning the latest hybrids and truly became a gang of MUMILs (Middle-aged Mums in Lycra).
Training has commenced with team talks over beer and wine, and rides broken up with coffee stops, selfies at Windsor Castle, and the odd shout of ‘stop talking and start riding’.
All the girls will finish the ride, in one form or another, but we need your dosh to spur us on!
We appreciate every donation and thank you from the bottom of our padded shorts.
As part of my #40b440, I challenged myself to take part in a charity bike ride which I completed in August 2015, coming in ladies’ first place. I decided this wasn’t enough and that a real challenge was needed so in my familiar bossy style, I recruited this bunch of gorgeous girls to come with me. Highly competitive, I will scream and scream and scream until I’m sick if I don’t win!
Having beasted my husband over the years for wearing Lycra, obsessing about bikes, routes and everything else that comes with loving his bikes, I have decided to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride this year to see what the fuss is all about and whether the millions of bikes in our garage are ACTUALLY required!
I’ve signed up for London to Brighton Bike Ride to help me get fitter, raise some money for a very good cause have lots of fun with my friends and to also justify buying a new bike.
I’ve haven’t done much cycling before, but want to try and get to Brighton in a reasonable time…will set a target nearer the time.
The last time I did a serious bike ride with a team of girls, I was riding a hand me down Denim Raleigh that was covered in Aha stickers and suffering serious envy of my mate’s Grifter! So 30 years later and I am actually planning to ride 54 miles! You will be glad to know I have upgraded my wheels and am surrounded by amazing friends, in this VERY aptly named team! I would love to raise loads of money for this fantastic cause so please think of my suffering backside and sponsor me!
Having taken part in various 10ks and a half marathon I decided it was time for a new challenge (and an excuse to buy a lovely new bike!). After far too many drinks, #TeamBadInfluences was created and now 10 lovely ladies from Twyford, Berkshire will be taking part in the 54 mile London to Brighton Bike Ride on 19th June 2016. Training has started and all the cycling gear has been purchased so please now help spur us on by sponsoring us and donating to such a worthy cause.
So we are in the pub drinking sav blanc and a friend says to me, ‘what are you doing on the 19th June?’ I replied nothing and before I knew it I was a participant in the L2B bike ride – Team Bad Influences! Obviously to take part in a bike ride you need a bike, so am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new bike which I really need to start using and train for the event…. which is where you come in. I need your support and encouragement to get myself ‘in the saddle’ and to begin training for this very worthwhile event.
I am so not a cyclist! I have not owned a bike since I was a kid…. All that is about to change with drill Sergeant, soon to be 40, Abs in charge. Abs, I’m sure I managed to pass this milestone quietly(ish!). So far, I’ve done a 5 mile test drive on my new 2 wheeled machine and it hurts your bottom; a lot! Bring on the 54 mile challenge!
Having only ever ridden a bike as a necessity – to get to work, to go to the shops, to go to the pub I am enjoying the thought of this new challenge – a 54 mile bike ride! It also has the special bonus that I get to raise money for the bhf Heart disease has been a silent killer in my family taking my Grandma and a contributor to my fathers death so I hope by being able to raise some funds for the organisation I can do them both proud.
Apart from ‘dipping my toes’ last summer (v non competitive ride which still nearly broke me), most of my cycling journeys have been small jaunts into the village & back so this will definitely be a challenge for me. I am resigned to the fact that I will not be able to keep up with some of my more competitive team mates (mentioning no names!!) but am hoping to make it in a reasonableish time, whatever that may be!!
I am a novice cyclist and I still haven’t got a bike! However, I am determined to raise as much money as possible for the BHF and to prove to myself that I can actually cycle to Brighton without killing myself in the process. I am sure my friends in the team will enable me to continue cycling this long road as much as they enable me to be a bad influence, so your money really will be going to a great cause.
One of my favourite parts of my week is my Saturday morning lie in. It normally starts with Dylan coming into bed with us at 8am, Sam or I making a pot of tea (we have a kettle upstairs and make sure we bring cups, teabags and milk up the night before) and then the three of us lazing in bed watching the news, Friends and any other trash TV.
This Saturday was different; I got up earlier than I would during the week, crept out of bed, got dressed into my cycling gear and left the house. My bike was already dismantled and in the car so I was ready to drive to Windsor where I caught a train Richmond to take part in Bike Events’ London to Windsor 37 miles ride.
The train was full of cyclists; from a commuter with his £1800 Brompton that he was convinced was super quick despite having teeny tiny wheels, to a pair of 60+ ladies who chatted about doing the ride before and finishing at 4pm because they’d stopped for coffee at every refreshment stop, and even had lunch along the way!
Once at Richmond Green, the event seemed well organised and we all queued up in order to start at 9am on the dot. To my delight (being one that can’t abide lateness), I was in the first 30 to start at 8.50!
The first mile or so was slow-paced, past the river and out of Richmond heading to Twickenham. Once through the traffic my competitive spirit kicked in and I found myself overtaking other riders and heading out with the big boys of the pack (granted I was slip-streaming them, but that’s the whole idea, isn’t it?).
By the time I hit Sunbury (after passing the wonderful Hampton Court Palace), I was in my element but this was short-lived as I lost the pack and started to slow down a little. I noticed that my tyres were a little flat and decided that I should take a break at the next refreshment stop.
I continued to the Four Horseshoes at Chobham, where I ordered a well deserved coffee and one of the race marshalls kindly sorted my tyres. After 15 minutes, I hit the road again with a new-found energy.
Now with over 23 miles done, cyclists were appearing around all corners, I overtook some and was overtaken by others, and lost a little of my competitive spirit resigning myself to simply finishing the route.
I went through Egham and hit Englefield Green knowing that I was really on the home straight. I flew down Crimp Hill, (at 30mph!), through Old Windsor and onto the Datchet Road. It was 11.30am and I knew I couldn’t be far from the finish.
At 11.43am I crossed the finish line having completed 38.81 miles and 2 hours and 32 minutes of cycling. Before me were 3 or 4 male cyclists and I thought I was mistaken. I asked a marshal if anyone else had been through and they said no – this meant that I was the first woman, and the fifth-ish person, to finish the 37 miler!
I was in shock and still am. I didn’t have a chip and no one was noting finishing times; for someone like me this is a nightmare! As I said before in “Why does my ego get in the way?”, I am a competitive so and so, and I need recognition. It’s not a trait I enjoy suffering from, but I suffer all the same.
So, for now, you’ll have to take my word for it; I won! And even if I didn’t, I think nearly 39 miles in two and a half hours, if pretty good!
You can also sponsor me for the London to Windsor bike ride, here.