Matthew Lawley
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Introducing your London to Paris 2017 Ride Captains

Matthew Lawley
Posted by
13 Mar 2017

Ride captain #1 Anthony Green

Whilst I have not personally suffered, I have several close friends and family who have been affected by some form of cancer. My beautiful wife unfortunately lost her first husband to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I have seen the devastating effect it had on her and his family which continues even today, 17 years on, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Through friends I was introduced to the Bloodwise ride and this is now my 4rd year riding, 3nd year as a ride captain. The stories of why people choose to ride are humbling and everyone you talk to has a story.  This creates camaraderie among riders that unites us and keeps us going when we feel like we have nothing left to give.

As a ride captain I would like to share some training tips to help you on your journey to Paris.  Simply jumping on a bike and riding is not enough. You need to protect your muscles and joints from the prolonged time on the bike.

Anthony's top tips are:

  1. Flexibility, stretch every time you ride or exercise. Keeping good flexibility will help you get more power on the bike and ache less during and after the ride. A large poportion of aches suffered whilst cycling can be eliminated with a regular stretching routine. If you don’t feel confident on your own then find a Yoga or Pilates class.
  2. Core, shoulder and back strength. Your legs may be doing all the work but your upper body is supporting you and taking all the impact of the road.
  3. Time in the saddle. There is no quick fix for saddle soreness other than spending a lot of time in the saddle, however a good chamois cream will help. Make sure your bike is set up correctly for your height and frame, don’t be scared to invest in a bike fit.
  4. Spin class. If you are struggling to get the miles in then finding a spin class is a great way to improve your strength and stamina.
  5. Eating/drinking whilst moving. You need to be able to eat and drink whilst on the move to keep your energy levels stable so you can keep going. Sounds simple but a lot of people struggle to reach into their back pocket or grab their bottle unless they are stationery so make sure you practice even on a short ride.
  6. Get used to riding close to others, many people get nervous if they have trained alone. Make sure you talk to the people around you and help each other out by pointing our holes in the road or tell them if you are stopping etc…

Ride captain #2 Daniel Pinn

My names Dan and I’ll be one of your ride captains for 2017. Having participated in triathlons for several years, at an elite standard, my love for cycling has truly blossomed. I’ve cycled from London to Paris twice, but last year I was lucky enough to be a ride captain; and this year I have the same privilege. This event is by far one the best I've ever taken part in, the overall challenge, amazing crew and the riders themselves make L2P such an amazing experience. Hearing the reason behind why so many people are taking part is truly humbling.

Dan's top tips are:

  1. Make sure that you get some good miles in before the trip, there’s nothing worse than being underprepared.
  2. I’d also suggest practicing group riding, if you haven’t got any planned come along to one of the Bloodwise training rides. 
  3. Finally, just remember why you’re taking part and enjoy it!

Ride captain #3 Harry Horsman

I have been cycling for the last 9 years as part of Crystal Palace Triathletes but last year shifted my focus purely to cycling after the triathlon race season. I have been extremely lucky to have cycled in many different countries such as Northern Portugal, Spain, Majorca and in the Alps of France with my family and friends.

Harry's top tips are:

  1. Train frequently. Frequency is everything in cycling and will improve performance dramatically even if they are short, easy sessions.
  2. Always carry lots of food and drink lots when cycling. I always carry a bar, a gel in case I run out of energy and of course a water bottle.
  3. Have the correct clothing. This is essential to your mind set on the bike as well as keeping your body the correct temperature to perform.

Ride captain #4 Jon Horsman

I have coached and competed in triathlon for over 20 years as well as cycle road racing & cyclocross & plenty of Sportive events. I have cycled in the Alps in France, trained in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, completed the 232km sportive in Majorca & raced Ride 100 in a time of 4 hours and 18 minutes in 2016.

Jon's top tips are:

  • Always have a purpose or aim to your training, even if it is just for fun!
  • Never under estimate the  power of  rest & recovery within your training
  • Enjoy the experience!

Ride captain #5 Emma Young 

2016 was my first L2P, I really wasn’t sure what to expect heading into it but there really wasn’t anything to worry about, the awesome crew at Bloodwise had everything covered!

Other than the obvious highlight of experiencing the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées two others are: Finishing day 2! The biblical rain on most of day 2 tested everyone’s determination, however when the social group rolled into the final stop drenched to the bone, the earlier finishing groups were still there to cheer everyone in. Seeing the all the riders as one massive long peloton roll towards Paris on the final day was spectacular!

Emma's top tips are:

  1. Don’t underestimate your nutrition, if you run out of energy then start eating your body can’t absorb it fast enough, keep yourself topped up eating at regular intervals
  2. Practise your group riding, you’re going to have a lot of people riding around you on L2P get comfortable with that feeling and communicating to your fellow riders
  3. Invest in a set of good cycling kit, having the right layers for different conditions will help keep you comfortable and out training longer.