We often hear comments in the shop along the lines of “I’m too old to start cycling” or “It’s a young persons game”. Well if that familiar then here’s a blog that will hopefully change your perception of cycling. Age is no excuse.! This is by Ray, a customer of Twenty3c who recently took up cycling and took part in Ride London 100 this year.
The Ride London 100 – 2015 at 72.
“Speeding” through London’s empty roads, pot-hole free and smooth, was a special experience. Being part of the 27,000 “swarm” was emotional after recent few days of suffering severe vertigo attacks. I understand it can be brought on by stress and alcohol. Alcohol intake has been relatively low over the past few weeks so I’ll settle for the worry of the forthcoming bike ride as being the cause. Felt a bit woozy in the morning so had to move about the hotel room carefully, no sudden head movements, etc. Then, as soon as I was on the road to the start I forgot it all for the sheer emotion of being on my way.
Funny thing, emotion, you never know when it’s going to hit you. The sheer joy of speeding down Putney Hill through the town with thousands of people cheering and clapping, all at what turned out to be 46 m.p.h. and then almost crying as I was cycling along the Chelsea embankment of the Thames knowing that I was going to finish what I had set out to achieve. That last five miles went on forever. Almost there, and then… my bloody chain came off in Whitehall, right outside the Whitehall Theatre (that home of Farces for many years). Loads of people going “Oooooh”. Fixed in record time and then, they opened the gates at Admiralty Arch especially for me (and 27,000 others) and into the Mall. Crossed the line at last and then heard “GRANDAD, OVER HERE”. Kay, Nats, Ben & Ollie outside Buckingham Palace.
So, apart from being knocked off my bike by some bloke twice my size as he took a tumble, hearing a loud crack and thinking my race was over, I got through quite well. Had to stop three more times to adjust the resultant buckled wheel, but we finished.
The sad thing in all this was being held up for over an hour on a couple of the hills in Surrey because the emergency services had to deal with riders who had taken ill. I believe one poor chap died. Who cares about being held up after such a tragic event?
The good news. It looks like we have raised £900 for my chosen charity – Kidney Research UK. Thanks again to all those generous donors and to those who encouraged me in other ways. Mustn’t forget to thank Ceri and James at Twenty3c for the minor matter of preparing my bike.
Thanks for the blog Ray and well done on a massive achievement. If you have similar story that you would like to send us, email it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them to inspire others.