I last rode a bike in 2005, it was Keith’s bike and I crashed it straight into a hedge…. because I’m blind and riding bikes is clearly, at least now it is, dangerous. Before then I think my last foray into bicycling was in 1998 at the tender age of 12, it was a lovely blue BMX if I remember. Anyway, now I huff and puff on a spin bike located in my living room and am constantly told by people that this is great because I can watch TV while I’m doing it – I’d like to remind you that I can already watch TV in my living room, and a lot less sweatily at that.
I almost rode from Lands End to John’o’Groats with Keith back in 2011, but he said, “this might be a once in a lifetime event mate, and I’m worried that you’ll ruin it for me.” Oh well, bygones be bygones, he was probably right.
I live in London and run my own recruitment company, am 30 years old and am incredibly but not totally (I believe that’s the technical term) blind. I have a Guide Dog called Ricky and we’ve been working together for just over 2 months now, we’re both still learning and he is both my saviour and my nemesis in fairly equal measure.
I used to do a lot running and enjoyed charging around London and seeing the sights, but I knocked this on the head the day I knocked a lady into the road because I didn’t see her. Now my primary sporting outlet is GoalBall, a blind sport than both visually impaired and sighted people can play together – I’d implore anyone reading this to give it a go. So, as you can see, my base level of exercise and fitness has me supremely prepared for a bike ride of 900 miles over varied terrain.
Somewhat opposite to Graham, I have been cycling for a little over 15 years. I’ve actually ridden Lands End to John O’Groats before (in 2011) during an organised event, but that was only on a bike with one saddle and I only had myself to moan at! I’d originally thought about doing it with Graham on a tandem, but then realised it would be hard enough by myself…now look where we are.
I live in Amsterdam, so getting to train with Graham on the tandem is going to cause a few difficulties – so we’re going to have to rely on trust and determination to ensure we’re getting the right training in!
I’m a regular on the bike, frequently riding sportives and criteriums and have a particular soft spot for the “Spring Classics” – this year tackling the mammoth Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a 271km race at the end of April.
I have a background in endurance sports, completing several half and full distance marathons, as well as multiple triathlons – culminating in a Full Distance Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike ride, marathon) in September 2015. My Ironman story can be read at www.stomachingiron.com. Due to injury, I stopped triathlons in 2016, and now focus solely on cycling.
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