TV presenter Tim Lovejoy has got his first taste of riding a road bike ahead of taking part in the charity Right To Play’s Liege to London ride next July, leaving the Belgian city the morning after the Tour de France starts there and arriving at London’s Olympic Park three days later.
Lovejoy was co-presenter of Sky Sports’ Saturday morning show, Soccer AM between 1996 and 2007, and more recently has hosted the BBC chat-cum-cookery show, Something For The Weekend.
Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Mark Cavendish was a guest on that programme in early December, little more than a fortnight after he had launched Right To Play’s 2012 Bike Ride, the fourth time the charity has organised such an event to coincide with the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.
That launch was held at the Specialized store in London’s Covent Garden – the US company that supplied Cavendish’s former HTC-Highroad team is also a partner of the charity – and indeed it is that firm that has supplied Lovejoy with the bike and other equipment he’ll be using to train for this summer’s ride.
“The Right To Play bike ride is going to be a real test for me,” confessed Lovejoy after making his first pedal strokes on a road bike, accompanied by two rather more experienced riders, one from the charity, the other from Specialized.
“I am very active and sporty person but cycling is not my thing! However, I enjoyed today’s ride and after a slightly wobbly start I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead,” he added.
If you want to join him on what promises to be a memorable 300-mile journey, places are still available, with full details on the Right To Play website, where you can also read about the charity's work with disadvantaged and vulnerable children around the world.
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.