days, 300 miles, 2 wheels, 1 great cause. Simon’s cycling London to Paris for Bloodwise.
Simon’s training for his biggest challenge yet; cycling London to Paris to raise funds for Bloodwise to help fight cancer.
“It’s a fairly safe bet if you’re reading this that your life or that of a loved one has, in some way, been touched by cancer. Mine has. In my work, my friendships, my family. We know the statistics, but we also know that we’re making huge advances in treatment, prevention and aftercare.
What’s less of a safe bet, is that I’m ever going to make the Tour De France. I love cycling, but the chances are slim. But.. I am going to make the nearly 300-mile London to Paris ride in September 2019! And what better charity to ride for than Bloodwise?
I’ll be cycling alongside a dozen friends and colleagues from the hairdressing industry in a mammoth team ride, across 4 days from Eltham to the Paris finish line. We’re The Phscyclepaths and we’re out to raise as much money for Bloodwise as we can!
In 2018 the team raised an astounding £68,000 for Bloodwise and for 2019 they aim to smash that record.
We all know how obsessed with bikes Simon has become over the last couple of years. Simon’s a certified MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra). He’s known to dash into the salon in his bib-set and helmet. And can often be spotted peddling away on the Sussex back roads.
Simon took-up cycling to improve his fitness. And in doing so, discovered a new passion.
This is the first photo we took of Simon cycling. It was at the toughest climb, approaching Devil’s Dyke, of his first ever sportive.
It was an early start, grey and dreary. He was cycling solo amongst teams of riders who’d been cycling for years. So, Lily and I made ‘Go Dad!’ banners and drove around the route to spur him on, surprising him at different points.
Now, you may think this was an ambitious first challenge, with no real training. And it certainly was. By the time we took this picture he’d cycled 30 miles and was definitely feeling it. There was a little blood, plenty of sweat, near-tears and obviously a whole load of swearing, but he did it. And loved it. And he’s had the bug ever since…
…Lily and I also rescued an escaped cow that day, not far from where we took this photo. But that’s a different blogpost.
So, how serious is he? We asked…
Your ride … “For a road bike, I ride a Ribble R872 with Reynolds Assault SLG carbon wheels, Altegra gear-set and Zip aerobars. Off-road I’ve got a BMC Speed Fox full-suspension mountain bike (29-er).”
MAMIL credentials … “Yeah, I’m a full member of the MAMIL fraternity! I usually wear a black Atticus bib-set with an orange Raffa jersey and Attacus Dark Dagger cycling vest. And specialized S-Works shoes with 3-bolt cleats.”
Favourite route … “Coast, country, town – all in one 40-mile ride. Brighton to Worthing, back to Shoreham and up by Lancing College. Then Bramber, Small Dole, Henfield, up the back of Devil’s Dyke and down into Brighton again.”
Tracking your progress … “I use Strava to measure distance, time, speed and elevation. It links with your phone and Garmin. You can upload everything online to share routes with other cyclists and find groups with similar stats to train with. Cycling solo is great, but riding in a small group allows you to test yourself and learn the skills of riding peloton.”
Fastest speed … “34 mph according to the Garmin.”
First sportive … “B2B Cycle Sportive; 36 miles around Brighton and the surrounding countryside. It was the toughest because I didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t built up my stamina yet and my bike was fairly basic.”
Biggest ride to date … “67 miles on the New Forest Sportive back in 2017, riding with my great friend Adelaide.”
Dream cycling destination … “Italy. The hill climbs and sweeping mountainsides and vistas that you see in the Giro D’Italia are breath-taking.”
Off-road or on-road … “On-road when I’m riding solo, because you can focus on the road and clear your mind of everything else. Off-road with friends or the wife though cos it’s more fun.”
Coming off … “When I first started wearing cleats I pulled up at the traffic lights and couldn’t get my foot out in time, so I just timbered like a felled tree! And I was still attached to the bike lying on the ground! Once I managed to detach myself, I spent the next 10 minutes getting grit out of my knee and trying to style it out to passers-by.”
Who are The Phscyclepaths?
The Phscyclepaths all work within the hairdressing industry with KMS and Goldwell. They’re hairdressers, educators, photographers, reps, executives, managers and artists. They span all ages. And come in all shapes and sizes. They are all of us.
Simon and The Phscyclepaths prepare for Paris, we’ll be following their training and updating you on their fundraising. We’ll be posting photos and revealing the plans as they unfold. There’ll be plenty of laughter, lycra and leg-shaving along the way to document because the camaraderie of the team is tighter than their cycling shorts!
But the most important factor of all this is the cause for which they’re riding. Bloodwise funds research into all types of blood cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. As well as the world-class and ground-breaking work they do in the medical field, they also provide financial, emotional and social support to those affected by cancer.
Eight in ten people will get cancer at some point in their lives. And that means that even if we’re lucky enough to be one of the two in ten, we can’t escape it entirely because it will affect those we love.
With so much progress being made into the fight to kick cancer’s arse for good, it’s imperative that Bloodwise continue to receive the funding to carry out their amazing work. And without donations from everyday people like us, the work of charities like Bloodwise is at risk.
Sponsoring Simon to support Bloodwise
It couldn’t be easier to sponsor Simon’s cycle ride for Bloodwise. And any amount, no matter how small, will go a long way to helping him achieve his individual £2000 target.
Simon’s JustGiving page is a simple, fast and totally secure way to sponsor him. Once you donate, the money goes directly to Bloodwise, saving the charity time and costs, ensuring that all of your kind donation goes straight to the people it is intended to help. Your details are never shared and any donation can be made entirely anonymously if you prefer.
As I get older, it seems more and more friends and family are being affected by cancer. Some have lost their fight. But in the last few years I’ve seen many of my loved ones beat it. And that’s all down to the tireless work of groups like Bloodwise. Together, we can beat cancer. But it takes time and it takes money. And this is my small contribution to the fight against cancer.
It would mean the world to know that I have the support of friends, family and colleagues in what is undoubtedly going to be an intense and emotional physical challenge. And if you can extend that support to sponsoring me, then we can reach my £2000 target and maybe even smash straight through it!
” – Simon Webster