AMR's cycling development manager talks bikes, charity rides and signing up
What bikes do you own?
I currently own three: A Trek 2300, an Airborne Thunderbolt and a Trek 6006 MTB. I’ve also just taken delivery of a Wattbike so I can put in training when time is limited.
Can you tell us a bit about your role at Action?
I’ve been able to play a key role in taking the charity’s cycling events to a new level. When I started we had just five regional rides, we now have 23 in the UK and keeping on top of those keeps me busy. I design routes, recce them and liaise with local authorities. Support services play a key role too and I’m also responsible for getting all those on board.
What has 2012 got in store for the charity?
This year is our 60th anniversary, which we share with the Queen, and we’re looking forward to another good year. We’ve introduced two more DIVA100 ladies-only rides to our regional calendar along with some new international events, namely Ride L’Etape and a London to Paris route for ladies.
How can the cycle trade get involved with your work?
There are clever ways in which we can work together that can benefit both parties. For us, the key is promotion and with more trade contacts we can get our message to cyclists. We can offer trade opportunities to assist events with mechanical support, product sampling and volunteers. We’re keen to have participants turn up with a well-serviced bike and could envisage working with retailers to promote a service package to riders.
Why cycle to raise money?
Everyone loves a challenge and for many people riding 100 miles or more is quite a feat. Our longer-distance events are recognised as an achievement by potential sponsors. First and foremost, we are a charity and the money raised goes towards research into diseases and disabilities that affect babies and children. Some riders go on to do amazing things for us, taking on even bigger personal challenges, and we are indebted to many volunteers that join having taken part in an event.
What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike?
I’ve ridden London to Paris five times and as soon as we have Paris in sight I feel a rush of emotion and adrenaline. It’s a huge sense of achievement to make it to the finish line. www.action.org.uk