Good luck to RideLondon-Essex riders!

Active Essex, Active Essex Foundation

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve focused a lot about celebrating RideLondon-Essex and the event from a spectator’s point of view. Now, we want to tell the story of those individuals and residents taking part in the 100-mile cycle.

RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, comes to Essex for the first time from Friday 27 May – Sunday 29 May, and riders are now in their final stages of training ahead of the big challenge. We caught up with a couple of individuals who will be taking part in the Sunday 100-mile ride to see how they’re feeling.

Speaking to Dr Ronan Fenton, ICS Medical Director Consultant Anaesthetist, from Maldon he told us about the reasons for wanting to take part in RideLondon-Essex:

“I’ve taken part in the event when it was RideLondon-Surrey and I’m delighted to see Essex involved now. As a Health and Care Leader it’s important for me to show how taking part in all forms of exercise is possible. I’m really looking forward to cycling through Essex, but I know I will find the undulating terrain in Essex a challenge. There might not be any mega hills, but Essex certainly isn’t flat! But, I’m not taking part in the event to achieve a time, for me, it will be a fantastic achievement to have simply taken part.”

We also caught up with Active Essex Board Member Dan Doherty, who will be taking part to raise awareness of the Active Essex Foundation. The Active Essex Foundation is a registered charity that has been set up to increase the use of physical activity and sport to engage and support the most inactive communities and tackle the inequalities that exist across Essex. Dan commented:

“I wanted to take part in RideLondon to help promote physical activity. I’ve always been a long-distance runner, but following double knee surgery a few years back, I’ve struggled to put in the distances I used to, without the niggles in my knees. Cycling seems to be much less stressful on my joints and I wanted a challenge to get me out on the bike this summer. RideLondon has given me that, and I’ll admit, I’m loving it!

I can’t wait to ride the Essex roads with no cars and have the chance to marvel at the buildings and wonderful Essex countryside. Hopefully Essex residents will come out and support us cyclists, as I know it will help me get through the mileage!

For me, I hope I can inspire just a few Essex residents to give cycling a go. I’m a physiotherapist and know lots of folk who struggle with high impact activity, and maybe cycling could provide them the opportunity for them to find their active.”

For a couple of months, we’ve been following the training journey of This Girl Can Essex ambassador, Lucy Edwards as she takes on this exciting challenge. Although an avid cyclist and a participator of Triathlon, she’s never actually completed a century ride, so we caught up to see how the nerves were holding up!

“Setting myself new challenges and pushing my limits has always been a regular occurrence. For me it’s not about achieving a particular time, RideLondon-Essex is just an amazing opportunity to see what I’m capable of!

Not only have I been training for RideLondon-Essex, I’ve also been training for my usual half-ironman, so it’s been a challenge to fit in some of those longer rides. I tend to do smaller low-key events, so a mass participation event like RideLondon is a little daunting for me, with quite a few numbers of riders on the roads.”

Completing the 100-miles of roads in London through to Essex and finishing on Tower Bridge is a massive achievement. The challenges will come in many different forms for each rider, but Essex residents can help, by supporting the riders across the weekend, many of whom are doing it for charity and to achieve their own goals. Head out on your front gardens, head to a local fan zone and support. You never know, perhaps you’ll Find Your Active too!