Us Type 1 Cyclists* Need Your Support

Imagine…
Your day started as early as 4am as you made your way to Olympic Park for the start of the Prudential Ride London 100.
Your nerves and adrenalin were sky high as you set off from Olympic Park amongst 25000 riders.
You’ve been riding for hours, mostly without a break.
You’ve conquered the biggest hills in Surrey – Leith particularly is a killer
You’ve already ridden 85 miles.
Your legs feel like they’re made of something-marginally-lighter-than-Lead.
You really need a boost to get you through the last 15 miles to the finish line on The Mall.

RL100JDRFAnd then it happens.

You turn the corner and there they are, the supporters from Diabetes UK and JDRF, they’re there just for you**
Twice I’ve done RideLondon and both times I’ve received such a boost from the supporters. And isn’t it nice that Diabetes UK and JDRF all stand together, united in cheering their riders on, united in finding a cure.

Of course Kingston isn’t the only place. I really got a great boost from being cheered on by one of JDRF’s Directors whilst nearing the top of Newlands Corner. Kingston though has one great advantage as you can see the riders on the way out to Surrey in the morning and on the way back.
In 2015 JDRF’s Beki encouraged me to carry on cycling.

And here’s the time I tried to high-five Phillipa in 2015 – that probably wasn’t my best move, I was lucky not to hit the railings.

So, I wonder if I could ask a favour: if you’re near London on the 30th July could you go and support all those cyclists doing the Prudential Ride London 100 for either JDRF, Diabetes UK or DRWF (Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation).
The supporter point is here (near TK Maxx) and riders will be going through from 7:00 through 16:00 I guess – I got there by 10am.

I’m sure if you do go you’ll have a great day out too.

Here’s my video from my 2015 ride…if you’re really bored.

*I’m not a cyclist who has Type 1 themself, but I ride to get sponsorship to be put towards helping people with Type 1 Diabetes. And I’m not actually riding RideLondon this year either 😀
** Okay, maybe they’re there for others too but at that time it feels like they’re only here for you.

Nightrider 2016, the Diabetes Dads and the Videos

JDRFDadsLogoShortly after last year’s Nightrider there was a little conversation on our UK Diabetes Dads group. I suggested we should try and get a large Dads team together and immediately got two Yes’s from Nightrider stalwarts Dave and Andrew. Little by little more Dads joined ending up with 23 Diabetes Dads and some friends. In total there were 30 of us riding with 27 of those fundraising for JDRF.

A little motivation & from nothing to everything

Many of the Dads have personally thanked me for organising and motivating them to do Nightrider but the truth is I did very little, they wanted to do this and everyone motivated everyone else, with tales of training rides, pictures of bikes, etc..
A fair few of the Dads didn’t even have a bike and stories such as Vincent’s weren’t uncommon: Vincent last rode a bike on his paper round 25 years ago. Alistair’s story was similar. Others such as John signed up for the 60km ride but soon got persuaded that the 100km ride was achievable.

Lighting up the roads of London

After doing Nightrider in 2014 I knew our large team would get split up so I search for lights for our bikes and found these which I’ve gotta to say looked by far the best lights at Nightrider. It gave us the chance to display multiple images throughout the whole ride, include JDRFs logo, the JDRF/Dad logo I created (see top right) and others such as the Nightscout logo. In my opinion these were the best lights of any bike doing Nightrider.

Team motivation

makereadyyourbikeStrava and Facebook are great motivators, people put up their rides, you see it and feel guilty you haven’t ridden for x days, so you go out for a ride and post it on Strava/Facebook afterwards. And so on.
And on.
With so many of us in the team the rides got longer, the bravado better, the team closer and the jokes worse. Far worse [thanks Vincent 🙂 ]. But it was turning into a great team and forgetting Nightrider we all just wanted to meet up and chat and joke.

Nutter on a bike

My RideLondon 2015 cycling buddy from last year Paul Smart made a heroic decision that to prise hard earned cash away from his friends Nightrider would not be enough. No, 100km is far too easy (!) so Paul planned to ride to London from west of Birmingham, leaving on the Friday and cycling 100 miles to Aylesbury before finishing the other 50 miles on Saturday morning and then taking on the Nightrider that night.
Nutter.
But he did it, in fact he smashed it.
Legend.

25 Lamb Bhunas

ddadscurry
It seemed like a good idea at the time with Lahore Kebab House being a firm favourite of mine and Andrew’s: let’s all meet and have a curry before the ride.
Right now I can realise that a curry before cycling 100km isn’t such a good idea but in truth it went done a storm, especially Lahore’s legendary lamb chops which we ordered 6 plates of.

Nightrider dawns…or rather dusks

Nightrider2016Team groupshotThe curry, or rather the tube to/from had made us late for registration, it was bedlam, no-one knew where to queue up to get their ride numbers and hi-viz vests. Luckily Daniel’s wife Julie went into event organiser mode and sorted us out, thank goodness as we’d never have set off for ages otherwise.
As it was our supposed start time of 11:00pm had turned into 11:24pm.

And the ride?

Well, in short it was brilliant but I’ll let you watch these two videos to find out.
First it’s mine, turn your speakers on….

And second it’s the one shot by David Reid, featuring selfie-idiot me:

A lovely fundraising amount

Finally, the whole point of the ride was to raise money for JDRF and I think we did this pretty well.
My personal thanks goes out to Stuart, Matthew and Daniel for the sheer volume of sponsorship they got it. Amazing effort lads, well done.
DadsNightriderTotal

Nightrider London awaits

NightRider2Three days from now, at dawn on Sunday, I should have just finished cycling 100km around London, raising money for JDRF. I truly can’t wait to do it particularly as I’m doing it as part of a team mainly consisting of my work colleagues.
We start off from Crystal Palace at 10:35pm anti-clockwise through Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Olympic Park, Alexandra Palace, Waterloo, Whitehall and The Mall before ending up back at Crystal Palace.

A team grows
Last year I read about Nightrider shortly after cycling next to Gav in his GBR30/30 challenge and it captured my imagination, so I decided to do it in 2014, probably by myself.
Discussing it at work and Jon decided he’d do it as well, perhaps we could ask a couple of others he suggested. A few chats later and the team grew to 5 from work and Steve who lives close by. A month later and we’re up 8 cycling for JDRF and 3 cycling for CancerResearchUK. In total there’s 21 JDRF riders starting from Crystal Palace including my team plus Nick, Mark H, Andrew whom I know from either Twitter or the Cycling at JDRF Facebook group. There’s also a lot of JDRF riders starting from Alexandra Palace about an hour later.

A few of us enjoying a rest after a cycling sportive: Mark P, Kev, Jon, Mark H
jdrf cyclists at bbq

Raising funds
We’re riding for JDRF and they’ve set a target for each person of £175 per person, on top of the £39 registration we’ve each paid. For this £175 JDRF have bought a charity place from Nightrider for £60 and on top give each cyclist a JDRF cycling jersey, which in itself must be worth £35. So in theory JDRF don’t get much money in from this event, just £80 per person if they reach their target.
A few days ago I was concerned we wouldn’t reach out target, it sat £400 short of our combined target of £1400. In the last few days though sponsorship has come flooding in and we’re close to £2000 already.
Sponsorship page is here if you want to see how we’re doing…or donate.. bit.ly/nightridertf.

Training, training, training
For some cycling 100km is easy but there’s only one of our team – Steve – who could boast this, with Shaun coming a close second, for the rest us it was going to take a fair bit of training. So off we set on our first training ride back in January, a mere 30km but a distance which seemed daunting at first.

From our first training ride
Juli, Kev, Jon, Tim, Sue, Mark, Steve, ShaunNightriderTF-1

Training rides got longer week by week, some hills got thrown in and the weather started improving. A few other friends/colleagues started joining in the rides and a few of us managed to get out each weekend.

A hilly ride around the South Downs
NightriderTF-2

We set a target for 60km on April 21st when many of us entered a local Sportive. Five of my team did it along with two other Nightriders, Nick (coming down from Derby) and Mark (coming from London), plus a friend Gemma. That turned out to be a great ride through lovely country roads and finishing with a nice BBQ afterwards.

Gemma, Kev, Juli, Jon, Mark P, Nick, Mark H, Sue
NightriderTF-3
Our first night ride last Friday
Tim, Jon, Kev, Sue
Nightrider-TF-5