Katie talks us through the highs and lows of long-distance cycling, and shares what motivates her to keep going when it’s tough!

smiling female cyclist wearing a medal and Kids Matter T-shirt standing in front of Tower Bridge

This is your second year riding the Ride London-Essex 100! What has inspired you to do it again?

I will admit when I finished the ride two years ago I said, ‘I won’t be doing that again!’ But I believe in our vision and if me burning my legs (and bum) on a cycle ride will help us reach more children than that’s all the motivation I need.

How have you been preparing for this cycling challenge both physically and mentally?

Last Sunday I thought I would clock up some miles cycling around Regent’s Park forgetting that the loop is only three miles so it did require 10 loops – so that ride was a mix of both physical and mental training! It was fun to say hello to the giraffes every loop!

Have you set any personal goals for yourself for this cycling event?

My main goal is to finish still smiling and still wanting to get back on my bike! If I can also do it in the same time as last year, which was 6.5 hours – that’d be ace.

My fundraising goal is to raise £500, which I have nearly hit! The orginal plan was, however, to ride with a few others but they have had to pull out so if I was able to raise more and head towards the £2k target we had that would be amazing.

What is the most challenging aspect of cycling 100 miles?

The most challenginmg aspect (for me) is the mental battles – when you stop to get water or eat something part of you just wants to lie on the grass and never get up but you have to motivate yourself and for me that’s remembering the dads I met on the prison programme; hearing their appreciation for having a space to talk about this kids, to feel listened to and a new sense of enthusiasm, helps to push through the leg burn, hold your breath as you sit back on the saddle.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering participating in a similar cycling fundraising event in the future?

If you believe in the reason why your doing it that will get you through any mental battle. As for the physical side of things; doing the training is key… and it helps to enjoy cycling as you will have to do a lot of it, haha!

What is your favourite memory from last year’s event?

I have two favourite memories. The first is riding on closed roads. As someone who cycles a lot in London it’s a dream to cycle on car free roads! The second is coming around the corner and seeing tower bridge, knowing you have one mile to go, and riding onto the iconic bridge is magical.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

This year I am looking forward to connecting with all the other riders – it will be key to make a few friends along the way. And feeling that sense of achievement at the end!

If you would like to support Katie in her quest to help Kids Matter raise vital funds as we seek to grow our impact and reach more families in need, please visit her Just Giving page.

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