days, 300 miles, 2 wheels, 1 great cause. It’s London to Paris. And now the training’s really begun.
Webster on Tour!
If you’ve been following his social, you’ll know Simon’s mid-training for his London to Paris cycling challenge in aid of Bloodwise and the fight against cancer.
And if you haven’t read his story so far, you can check it out in Webster-On-Wheels.
Simon and The Pscyclepaths
The Pscyclepaths are a group of photographers, stylists, reps and great friends who all work within hairdressing, KMS and Goldwell. They’re all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels, but united in their desire to contribute to the fight against cancer. And a shared penchant for bikes, of course.
In preparation for Paris, the Pscyclepaths are taking turns hosting group rides to get used to riding peloton, sharing tips and the load together. There’s laughter, lycra and leg-shaving, miles and miles of rough terrain and roads ahead, and a well-deserved pint or two at the end.
The Pscyclepaths’ first group ride took place on a sunny April morning in Colchester. It was Easter weekend to be precise, the hottest day of the year so far and the 65 miles was a real test for the team. Several of them hadn’t ridden that distance before, let alone in 28C heat.
But they were determined to complete the ride together. And to ride out for the first time in their KMS team colours.
His vital statistics…
Monitoring performance is crucial to Simon’s preparation for such a demanding ride. On a day-to-day basis, it helps track improvements in performance, set goals and keep a record of your rides. Strava is an app that records Simon’s routes, speed and achievement as well as being his on-board GPS. The data and statistics it produces are shareable, so you can build an online community that learns from each other.
The worthiest of causes
Their determination is because the most important element in all this is the cause they’re riding for. 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.
Cancer has affected the lives of all the Pscyclepaths. It’s affected everyone on the 300 mile London to Paris ride. And it’s affected everyone reading this blog. But we’re so close to a breakthrough that could end that inevitability. And any part we can play in that, no matter how small, is worth it.
A personal target
“In my work, my friendships, my family, I’ve felt the effects of cancer. To ride for Bloodwise is a privilege and to do alongside a group of friends makes it all the more special.
To qualify, I need to make a certain time – which I’m on course to do. And I also need to raise a minimum £1,000. My target is to double that though and raise £2,000 by the start of September.”
Eight in ten people will get cancer at some point in their lives. Eight in ten. That’s eighty percent.
So even if we’re one of the lucky two, someone we love will be one of the eight. It’s a difficult truth. And it’s imperative that charities like Bloodwise receive the funding to continue their amazing work.
And without donations from everyday people like us that 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.
Simon’s longest ride yet was last month. In June he raced the Tour of Cambridge, aka The Cambridge One Hundred. That’s a 100 mile sportive along closed roads – the closest to the Tour de France that he’d ever got!
His previous record was 65 miles around The New Forest, so this was a significant leap and a real test of endurance.
We travelled up the day before to collect his race number and watch some of the time trials. My parents live locally, so Simon knows the area well. And although the roads would be closed for the race, they’d still prove a challenge.
Cambridgeshire and Fenland is renowned for being flat, but less familiar to anyone other than locals, are the notorious fen blows; strong winds that whip across the open fields.
Add to that the rough, shingle droves and uneven roads built on old riverbeds, and it makes for a tougher ride than you might expect.
Luckily, he had his cheerleading squad – aka The Inlaws – camped up outside a pub halfway round the course, complete with banner, protein snacks and water supplies.
So how did he do?
As well as the distance for the riders to contend with, there were issues with under-manned water-stations, punctures and the weather. There was scorching sun, howling 25mph headwinds and in the final hour, driving rain. Incredibly, the field of riders numbered 10,000 cyclists who varied in age from 18 to 83. Even the most seasoned of riders found it difficult and there were plenty of relieved tears at the finish line.
Simon started the Cambridgeshire 100. And just under 7 hours later, John Wayne finished it! It was a personal best both in distance and average speed for such a long ride. And the third medal to add to his collection.
The Tour of Cambridgeshire was the proudest moment of Simon’s cycling journey so far. It was a distance that he never anticipated reaching when he took riding up back in 2015. Then, cycling was just another way of keeping fit, alongside giving up smoking, motivated by the birth of our grand-daughter Layla.
What started as a hobby, has become a passion. And now, with the Bloodwise London to Paris ride on the horizon, it has even more significance.
Since Simon took up training, more of our loved ones have passed as a result of cancer. And more still are living with the effects of it. Simon will carry on cycling for fitness, but now he’s riding for a greater cause too.
And we’d love you to help spread the word so he can reach his goal of raising £2,000 for Bloodwise.
Sponsoring and Sharing Simon’s story
Like we said earlier, it couldn’t be easier.
Sharing this post will help us spread the word, not just about what Simon’s challenge but of the amazing work of Bloodwise.
If you’re able to sponsor Simon, any amount, no matter how small, you’ll be contributing to his individual £2000 goal and making a huge difference.
You can visit Simon’s JustGiving page for a simple, fast and totally secure way to sponsor him. Your kind donation goes straight to the people it is intended to help, with no overheads or charges. Your details are never shared and any donation can be made entirely anonymously. And if you’re a UK tax-payer, you can tick the Gift Aid box, meaning HMRC will add to your donation, helping us raise even more.
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
A huge thank you to Bradley Lever for use of his photos of The Pscyclepaths.
And another huge thank you to those family, friends and colleagues who have donated, supported and encouraged Simon in his challenge.
The next instalment of the Pscyclepaths’ training takes place at the end of July in Brighton. There’ll be more photos, more stats and this time it’s Simon’s turn to host it so he’ll be throwing in lots of scenic roads and challenging hill climbs.
To keep in touch with the team’s progress and their epic London to Paris journey, just follow the blog…