Ian’s cycle challenge for Prostate Cancer UK
Newport cyclist Ian Gregory has completed his amazing challenge to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK and Men United. In little more than three weeks, Ian completed a gruelling cycle ride of 1,619 miles through many parts of Europe, that also included a mini Tour de France. He was on the saddle for more than 150 hours, and his combined hill climbs were an amazing 52,446ft — nearly twice the height of Mount Everest. He cycled in temperatures ranging from 11 degrees C to 45 degrees C.
His ride took him through Luxembourg, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, France and Belgium before he finished outside the Prostate Cancer UK offices in London to be met by his wife Jacky, the CEO of PCUK, Angela Culhane, and other staff members, with a bottle of champagne (pictured below).
Ian recalled: “I rode in blissful sunshine to the worst storms I have ever seen. In Luxembourg I got soaked, and had to buy winter kit to keep warm and dry, while riding to Dusseldorf I had to stop time and again for ice poles to stuff down the back of my shirt to cool down.
“The winds in all countries seemed to be headwinds, no matter what direction I was going. Some were in excess of 65kph. I had five punctures and went through three tyres, which I was not happy about as I made sure I bought the best I could.”
On average Ian rode from 6.00am to 10.00pm, but some rides were even longer. He said: “My sat navs were always contradicting themselves and would send me down gravel tracks, forest trails and even across farmer’s fields.”
Some of the routes he tried to tackle on his Tour de France stages were simply not there!
He recalled: “My best moment was being greeted by new friends in Dusseldorf when I met up with the PCUK cycling team. My worst moment was being soaked to the bone, shivering away and dislocating my jaw twice and having to pop it back in. The ‘most shocking’ moment was weeing on what I found out was an electric fence, and the funniest moment was riding down the road swearing after being electrocuted, and the locals looking at me as if I had tourettes!”
Ian’s most emotional moment was being allowed to wear the yellow jersey of the Grand Depart Classic, the opportunity to cycle the first stage of the Tour de France, just one week before the pros.
He asked this year’s holder of the yellow jersey, Peter Babbage, if he had any objections to him wearing yellow for the ride, and was told by Peter he would be disappointed if he didn’t.
Ian added: “Riding into London for the final ride was simply amazing. Once in the city I had a call from the wife telling me to slow down as she had to park the car and get to PCUK to take photos of me arriving. I stopped three times to give her time to get to the finish, but what I was not ready for was the reception I received at the finish line. All the staff were on the roadside cheering me in.”
Ian is already looking at the Baa Baa Bikepack for next year, a 3,350 mile tour of the UK in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
His Euro-ride has so far raised £359, plus gift aid, and in all he has raised £2,245.71 for the PCUK and Men United charities.
If you would like to donate, please visit: www.justgiving.com/I-gregory