Tim Reddish on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2013
6 months ago
BPA Chairman Tim Reddish is taking on the challenge of Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2013. Read on to see how he is feeling on the eve of the event.
Tomorrow, I’ll be at the start line of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2013. As Chairman of the British Paralympic Association (BPA), the official charity partner of the event, I’ll be cheering on about 1000 riders as they embark upon the UK’s ultimate Cycling challenge. But I’m not just there to lend my support, I’ll also start the nine day ride down to Land’s End, which I will complete on a tandem.
This will be the third time I’ve taken on the Ride Across Britain, so I’ve been training hard in preparation for the challenge ahead. As I have a visual impairment, I need someone to cycle in tandem with me and there isn’t always someone who can make the necessary training commitments. Therefore I have a turbo set up at home, so I can spend up to four hours at a time training – come rain, sleet or snow. I’ve gradually developed and built up my training plan and although I had a slight setback a few weeks ago when I had a chest infection, I’ve had some really positive training sessions since. Last weekend, I completed 56 miles on the tandem. It was a fast ride, so I know I’m ready for the challenge ahead.
"I know I’m ready for the challenge ahead."Tim Reddish
The other unique thing about cycling in tandem which most people don’t realise is that it’s not just double the power, it’s double the weight. This means that hills really make you put the effort in. I always want to get up them as quickly as possible, because you’ll be moving faster again when you head downhill!
"You make sure you do it your way, go at your own pace and then you will achieve your goal."Tim Reddish
Of course, it’s crucial to be mentally prepared for the challenge as there are going to be times when it’s really tough. But again, I’ve learned to take challenges on as a positive. You make sure you do it your way, go at your own pace and then you will achieve your goal. Yes, it will be more difficult if the weather isn’t ideal, but you can’t plan for that and it’s just something you have to deal with.
The day before the ride, I’m feeling the usual mix of emotions. Of course, I am feeling a bit apprehensive – it’s a substantial distance that we have to cover over just nine days. Perhaps more than that though, I’m excited that the event is about to get underway and that I will soon be catching up both with old friends from RAB and also the new riders who will be joining us.
Everyone will have their own personal highlight from the ride, but I always really enjoy the stages up in Scotland. I can’t see the scenery, but you’re in beautiful open land and you get a really nice feeling from it. Every stage is interesting in its own way and you get to see and experience different parts of the country along the route.
"Being part of the team keeps morale high."Tim Reddish
It gives me enormous pride to be part of this event, as people are giving up their time to fundraise for the BPA and other charities. I have the opportunity to chat with people from all sorts of backgrounds and sharing the experience and being part of the team keeps morale high.
I think people can also draw parallels with an athlete preparing for a Paralympic Games. Yes, you feel apprehensive and nervous about what’s ahead of you, but you’ve put in your training and the moment comes when everyone comes together and you feel an incredible sense of camaraderie as part of the team. You can make friends for life as part of Deloitte RAB, and that reflects the symmetry of the Paralympic movement. It’s a really special event to be part of, and I can’t wait to start the journey to Land’s End.
To learn more about the Deloitte Ride Across Britain and to follow the progress of the ride this year, visit www.rideacrossbritain.co.uk.
To find out how you can get involved and fundraise for the British Paralympic Association, please contact email@example.com.