Alex’s Cycling Story
For those who have been following Amdas on Facebook and Twitter, you will most likely know that one of our Directors – Alex – is a keen cyclist and participant in charitable cycling events. While you will soon be able to find articles on all of his latest efforts, we thought that you might enjoy a bit of background on when Alex’s love affair with cycling began. So, we put together a number of interview questions and Alex kindly answered them. Furthermore, he also provided some slightly gory pictures of his worst cycling injury. Ouch.
When and why did you start cycling?
When I was a child. My first bike was a girl’s bike. I really wanted a mongoose BMX so I saved up all my pocket money and paper round money to buy a BMX. Unfortunately, I could not afford a mongoose so bought a poor quality Petworth House own brand bike (see attached pictures) and built it myself. I then started BMX racing but the quality of the bike shone through and every time I jumped the handle bars would move forward and I would fall off. I still kept on getting up and racing. About 2 years ago I finally got the Mongoose BMX (see photo). I can still do basic wheelies, jumps and bunny hops
Do you cycle every day?
At least 5 out of 7 days as I commute 15 miles each way to work
If you needed to go to the shop in the evening/ at the weekend would a) walk b) cycle or c) drive?
Cycle unless I had too much to carry
What bike do you ride?
I ride a road bike – specialized Roubaix 2016
Is there a particular bike you like? (that rhymes)
I love my road bike and I check on it every night before I go to bed. I also have a mountain bike, a Brompton and I am restoring a 45 years BSA bike
Do you have any style tips for cyclists?
Clothing is key- you can cycle in any weather as long as you have the correct clothing
Do you have any tips for people who want to start cycling?
Get on and do it! There are so many cycle paths. It is safer than you think on the road. Also, cars go a lot slower now days.
Did you do a cycling proficiency course?
I did the cycle proficiency. It is now called ‘bikability’ and both my kids are doing it – it is great for kids
Have you ever had any cycling accidents?
Loads when I was younger and I have had 3 in the last 4 years. First was on my Brompton where someone walked out in front of me and I went over the handle bars. Second on my road bike in Richmond where I looked round, lost concentration, and went into a small wooden block and cut up my leg. Last year, a motorbike hit me on Trafalgar square roundabout and I went flying up in the air but landed on my sharp brand-new cog (see picture). : Luckily there were 3 nurses on hand and an ambulance came quickly although I didn’t go to hospital straight away as I didn’t want to leave my bike so once bandaged up I managed to cycle back 12 miles to my local A&E. I was lucky again as I bumped into a dad I knew and he guided me there.
(If yes) Were you perturbed from cycling at all after?
Not at all
When did you decide to start cycling for good causes?
This year as it is all about positivity and using my interests to help others
How do you choose the charities you want to support?
They are charities I believe in and help family and friends
Would you ever do a fancy dress cycle ride?
What would you say are the benefits of cycling?
Health and fitness
What is the furthest you have ever cycled?
So far 75 miles in one go but with the Ride 100 at the end of July I will probably end up doing 140
What is furthest distance you would consider cycling?
150 miles in one go
Is there anywhere you would not like to cycle?
Anywhere that is too hot or places like china or Amsterdam where there is loads of cycles and not much road safety
Where is your favourite place to cycle?
London and Surrey