On Sunday 31 July, Edd Hopkinson will take part in RideLondon, cycling 100 miles through London and Surrey to raise money for Friendship Works. Here, he explains why he’s doing it.
“When I was a kid I used to ride my bike as much as I could. If I wasn’t at school or asleep I’d be off exploring on two wheels, searching out new places to ride and having fun with my friends. Riding for me formed a key part of my childhood.
Now, at 32, I decided it was time I rediscovered my love of two wheels again and training for RideLondon has been the perfect excuse to get back out riding again.
When I decided to take part, I knew that I also wanted to use the opportunity to support others too, and so applied for a charity place. I’ve always considered riding my bike as the best form of self help. Growing up, if I’d had a bad day at school or an argument with my brother, riding would help clear my head. So if riding my bike helps my physical and mental wellbeing, then surely it’s even better if it can support others in this way too – one of Friendship Works aims is to improve the emotional well-being of young people in London.
When I was younger I took cycling for granted, I presumed that all kids had the same opportunities. As an adult, I realise this isn’t the case. Not every child has the same opportunities and this is another way in which Friendship Works really helps as the outings they go on with their mentor give them the opportunity to visit new places, and try new activities in London.
On the day, RideLondon will be an opportunity for me to be a kid again – I’ll be riding unknown roads with friends, flying down hills having no idea what awaits us around the next corner. It’s nice to think that by indulging my inner child and reliving a key part of my childhood, I’m helping to build brighter childhoods for the young people Friendship Work supports.
Yes the training has been hard and I expect the 100 miles of RideLondon, especially Box Hill, will be harder still. Yet this commitment feels insignificant in comparison to that of the Friendship Works mentors. It’s inspiring and I’m very proud to be riding and fundraising to support their work.”
There is still time to show your support for Edd by sponsoring his ride. Click here to make a donation on his JustGiving page.