Jonathan Freeman, Mosaic’s National Director, will be riding the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 bike ride, raising funds for Mosaic and The Children’s Trust. Jonathan will be blogging here regularly in the lead up to the race so you can follow his training programme and preparation for the big ride.
As a fully-signed up ‘mamil’ (Middle-aged man in lycra), I thought it was about time to step up from the weekend bike rides with friends of 20 or so miles and set myself a real challenge. And, hopefully, do some good for two charities close to my heart. So, with two close friends, we have signed ourselves up for the very first Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 charity bike ride. In August, we will join 20,000 other riders following in the paths of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead, in riding the 100 miles of the Olympics route.
But make no mistake: any other resemblance to Sir Bradley is entirely in my dreams! Wiggo is young, lean premier athlete at the peak of his physical prowess. I, on the other hand, am… well, let’s just say that I am not! So, a 100 mile ride in one day fills me with dread. And this is not any 100 miles; it’s quite a route that takes in not just the infamous Box Hill but the truly horrible Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey that just goes on and on and on…
So, why I am doing this?! I am doing this because I need a challenge to motivate me; without a clear goal to aim for, I know that I won’t have the same drive to push myself. And, yes, that is true for me in pretty much all spheres of my life. And I am also doing it because it gives me the opportunity to raise some money for two great causes: Mosaic, which I have the honour to lead, and also The Children’s Trust, a local charity to me which does amazing work for kids with multiple disabilities.
With 100 days until the ride, my training regime is underway. RideLondon provide a very helpful suggested training programme which the three of us have downloaded and, having gulped at just how much training they recommended, planned some big rides around our respective work and family commitments. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve placated our families with many promises of future rewards in return for our repeated absences on two wheels!
We’ve just completed our first longer ride together – 35 miles out in the beautiful Surrey and Kent countryside – and just about survived. I did make a rather a dent on a very large coffee and walnut cake on arrival, which probably doesn’t appear anywhere on the recommended training regime!
This week, I’ve managed to do two solo 20-miler rides and then a 25-mile ride home from work, which was great other than the excruciating stop-start and fumes of London traffic. I can already feel the difference, even if I have failed entirely to make any dent on my burgeoning middle.
This week has also been important as I’ve been setting everything up for my fundraising efforts. The online fundraising page is all built and ready to go. Family and friends have all been sent grovelling emails, exposing myself to much-deserved ridicule. And I am completely thrilled to have received amazing support from four corporate supporters of Mosaic – The COSARAF Foundation, CareTech Holdings PLC, Roast Restaurant, courtesy of the wonderful Iqbal Wahhab, and Child & Child solicitors, thanks to the ever-supportive Khalid Sharif.
I can’t tell you how delighted I will be to have their logos on my shirt when I do the ride. And if I need the best breakfast in London or a spot of legal advice, I’ll know exactly where to turn!