London Paris Ride // 22nd February 2019
We chatted with Jordan about his experience taking part in the ride. Read on to find out what he thought of the 4-day cycling event, and discover some of the fundraising and training tips he shared with us…
Hi Jordan, so what motivated you to take part in the Myeloma UK London Paris Ride?
The first year I joined the ride, it was really two things. I had heard a Myeloma UK spokesperson talk about the disease, the patients and the charity at a work event. I knew very little about multiple myeloma until this point but felt compelled to be involved. The second reason was really for the challenge. I enjoy pushing myself outside my comfort zone and while I had taken on a few challenges in the past, I had never even been on a road bike before so why not start big?
That experience was fantastic. Riding with people touched by the charity and hearing first-hand accounts of living with Multiple Myeloma was very moving. I felt inspired to continue to fundraise for Myeloma UK. This meant that when the ride was announced again, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.
What did you do to train for the event?
I was fortunate that I signed up with some colleagues. Over the summer months on the run-up to the ride, we would go out once a week after work on a long ride together. I supplemented this training with spin classes at my gym. These were great for building fitness but also helped with good cycling technique.
Did you train alone or with others?
I was able to train with others which was a big help with motivation. It also helped me feel safer on the road. I was fortunate to train with colleagues, if this hadn’t have been an option though, I would have certainly signed up with a local road cycling club.
How did you raise funds?
It’s easy to forget that fundraising is itself a big challenge but it’s ultimately the reason for taking on the ride. I used social media to drive support from friends and family. I posted updates throughout my training and could easily share my Just Giving page. I continued this throughout the ride with daily video updates on Facebook. To supplement this, I helped organise several events with colleagues. A few of us volunteered to have our legs waxed and charged people to watch. We held a spin competition where we charged an entry fee and had prizes on offer. We also arranged a talk at a local cycling café that was ticketed and had a raffle on the day too.
What was the most challenging aspect of taking part in the London Paris Ride?
Raising the funds is just as challenging as the ride itself, but it’s also equally as important. Much like the training, a lot of the work is done ahead of September and requires motivation and dedication. On the ride you quickly notice that there are quite a few hills between London and Paris. These are certainly challenging; however, everyone helps motivate one another. The Ride Captains and other participants are always there to give a helping hand if you need it.
What did you find most rewarding about the experience?
The single most rewarding experience is riding into Paris, particularly when the Arc de Triomphe comes into view. Everyone is wearing a huge smile at that point as well as a few tears! It’s an epic ride and getting to the end is a massive achievement. The real joy comes from doing it with a group of people you have slowly formed friendships with and that you have collectively done it to support a single cause – to help make myeloma history!
What would you say to others thinking about taking part this year?
I would probably say ‘don’t think, just do it!’ If taking part in this ride has taught me anything, it’s this; we never know what is around the corner and making the most of our lives is incredibly important. The experience is one I will never forget and it’s an achievement I will always be proud of.
Think you’re up for the challenge? Join us on this year’s Myeloma UK London Paris Ride, achieve something amazing and help us make myeloma history. Register now