Jo’s London To Paris cycling challenge
By Jo Roulson
I’m a 45-year-old mum of 2, working four days a week, so trying to fit in exercise and focus on myself can be challenging.
On the 22nd of September, I’m attempting by far my biggest challenge yet: riding my bike from London to Paris in 24 hours 😬
Leaving Black Heath Common at 3 pm on Saturday, my training partner Neil Ashby and I will cycle 57 miles over two very big hills (I’m not thinking about!) to Newhaven, where we’ll catch the 11 pm ferry and a short respite.
Starting again at 5 a.m. French time in Dieppe, we’ll attempt to cover the remaining 110 miles to the Eiffel Tower by 4 p.m. Having attained ~6,500ft of elevation over the 167 miles – and if I have the strength – I shall endeavour to hoist my bike above my head for that classic photographic memento.
When the going gets tough, I will remember that I’ve decided to raise money for a fantastic cause: the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT).
EHAAT is a life-saving charity, kept airborne, thanks to people like you who play their lottery, donate, fundraise, volunteer or enjoy their events. They aim to save lives and reduce or prevent disability or suffering from critical illness and injury by delivering a first-class pre-hospital emergency medical service to the people of Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
I originally joined the Her Spirit cycle classes when my hubby bought me a turbo trainer and Zwift membership. Her Spirit is one of the reasons I’m doing this challenge; the community is so supportive and is always doing such inspiring challenges themselves that I’ve been convinced I can do this!
I have been doing the two live cycle sessions every week (I LOVE them and the Her Spirit peloton), as well as the monthly social on Zwift, and coaches Sharon and Helen have been amazing and give such great advice for pushing ourselves to see what we’re capable of, whilst making sure we enjoy the challenge along the way
I love spending time cycling indoors whilst the kids play, but I was here if they needed me.
I love cycling indoors and outdoors, with my confidence growing on the roads, though I’m still nervous about having a mechanical!! It’s so lovely to be outside; however, one of the things I love most about indoor cycling is that I can simply hop on and get going.
My family are so wonderful and supportive, too; hubby Nath is the crew chief for this challenge, and it’s essential for me that my girls are active and see both me and my hubby doing active things we love and supporting each other to do those things.
I want daily activity as a family to be the norm for them so that they hopefully continue it throughout their teenage years and into adulthood.
My oldest is already asking to go bike packing 🙂 Wish me luck, and I will let you know how I get on 🤗🚴♀️
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