Five years ago Peter King, then Chief Executive of British Cycling was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Prostate cancer and given the bleakest of diagnoses, today he set out to ride from Lands End to John O'Groats in just eight days to raise money for ProstateUK the charity founded by the doctor who saved him.
Over the next eight days he will be covering 850 miles on his trusty Pinarello Prince. His hardest day in the saddle is today, day 1, a 124 mile slog from Lands End up the A30 – luckily as he told road.cc he's going to have some help, from Cornish and Devon cycling clubs, “They've organised a relay to tow me all the way to the Somerset border”. Peter's longest day is Day 3 the stretch from Gloucester to Warrington “luckily it's also the flattest”, he said. Mind you, it's not that flat.
Seven of the eight days will be over 100 miles with the last day a quick 52 mile dash so that he can get back to Wick in time to make his train home.
Peter, now Executive Director of British Cycling after stepping down from the top job at the end of last year set himself a target of £10,000 and he has already beaten that with a current total of £11,279, including a donation of £700 from fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, now his aim is to raise as much as possible for what is a good cause prostate disease in all its deadliest forms not only kills far too many men, far too young, it also destroys the lives of countless others.
A lifetime of riding has put plenty of miles in his legs but as he explained the difference here is that he is going to have to repeat the process day after day. His preparation has consisted of two long weekends of 70 – 110 mile rides every day linked by a week of shorter rides “just to get used to being on the bike for that amount of time, it is going to be mentally tough as well as a physical challenge”.
At least he doesn't have to worry about lugging clothing and supplies too, DHL are sponsoring his effort and they've delivered eight boxes of clothes to each of the hotels he is staying in along the way along with all the necessary energy drinks and the like donated by SIS.
Peter's route is mostly along main roads and is more or less the same as that used for End to End record attempts, although he is not riding over the Forth Bridge. He will be being joined by friends along the way, but he says he will also be glad of the company if anyone wants to join him. If you're feeling fit the chance to sit in on a wheel will no doubt be appreciated… not to fast though this is a marathon not a spring and Peter has set himself a target of maintaining an average speed of 15mph.
If you want to support Peter's ride you can make a donation at www.justgiving.com/peterking2
To find out more about ProstateUK visit their website at www.prostateuk.org
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.