BBC TV presenter Matt Baker arrived in Peterborough at around 10.30pm this evening, leaving him with two more days in the saddle in his Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge from London to Edinburgh. So far, the former Blue Peter host, who now works on The One Show, has raised nearly two thirds of a million pounds for the charity ahead of its annual appeal this Friday.
Matt’s arrival at BBC Television Centre is timed to coincide with The One Show’s live coverage of Friday’s Children In Need Appeal on Friday evening, and he’ll be relieved to have put three consecutive 70-mile days behind him, with tomorrow, at 41 miles, being the shortest day of the challenge.
That ride will take him from Peterborough across the Fens to Cambridge, and as long as the wind doesn’t get up too much the flat terrain should also provide some welcome relief for Matt following what has turned out to be a pretty tough week.
The lowest point was perhaps reached yesterday on the 78-mile stage from York to Lincoln, when the presenter, who had already battled with saddle sores in the course of his 484-mile journey, also succumbed to knee pain. As a result, it took him 16 hours to cover what in terms of mileage is the longest leg of his eight-day ride.
With a total of 90.3 miles left and two days over mostly flat ground in which to cover him, hopefully Matt, who has been carrying a range of passengers throughout the ride – today, he had that Warwick Davis in the back of the pedicab – now has the worst behind him.
Yesterday, meanwhile, Russ Downing teamed up with Matt to ride alongside him in full Team Sky kit – possibly the last time he’ll be seen in it in the media, given the announcement of his signing for Endura Racing the same day.
You can follow his progress online via the BBC Children in Need website, which also has daily video diaries and pictures, and on Twitter at @BBCCiN, @bakermattbaker and by searching the hashtag #CiNrickshaw.
Donations of £5 can be made by texting "MATT" to 70705, with texts costing £5 plus one standard rate message, with £5 going to BBC Children in Need.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.