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Profile

Andrew Mills

Prudential Ride London

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]So it's 2019 and it's six years since my last endurance event, the London Marathon. Well, I'm not trying that again with a hip replacement so I'm back on the bike this time and looking forward to the challenge of riding 100 hilly miles through Surrey. The charity I have chosen (and who have chosen me!) is Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness - KCAH.[/p][p]KCAH has been helping the homeless in Kingston-upon-Thames, my home borough, for over 20 years. My wife Becky has been a fundraiser for them for 9 of those years. It is the only charity working specifically in the Kingston borough. Kingston town centre has attracted rough sleepers for a long time, and for a relatively affluent area there is a substantial problem both with street homelessness and the more hidden sofa-surfers and people in insecure accommodation. KCAH has an access project, placing people for up to two years in eleven assisted lodgings properties in the borough and helping with skills training. The Housing Advice service saw 380 new clients in the last year either homeless on the day or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The permanent night shelter in the borough, Joel Community Services, at St Peter's Church in Norbiton, started as an offshoot from KCAH and now houses ...The temporary winter night shelters provided by local churches and The Haven at Everyday Church in Kingston town centre have kept an average of 17 - 21 people off the streets every night through the coldest part of the year as well as helping to provide a route into more permanent accommodation.[/p][p]All of this takes money - money to pay for advice and support workers, money to pay for the supported accommodation, money for everything needed to run a successful charity. I am very proud of the work KCAH has done and look forward to making a contribution.[/p][p]So just over a week to go! I've done the middle 60 miles of the ride in training and enjoyed one of the wettest days of recent weeks particularly on the ascent of Leith Hill. So on the day it will be a doddle! No more long rides now so my legs are in peak condition for the day itself. The sponsorship money is coming in but there's still a way to go to reach my target![/p][p]Update on 30th July - well, just 5 days to go and I am planning just one more ride before the day. The forecast for 4th now looks ideal with some cloud cover, no rain and moderate temperatures. Though I expect it will still be a bit chilly when I leave the house at 05:30 to cycle to Richmond to catch the train to the start! The fundraising is going OK but of course there is always scope for more, and KCAH can use every penny raised to alleviate the misery of homelessness.[/p][p]Final update! I realised I had put an account of the ride on my Facebook page but not here, so here is the story:[/p][p]So how did the RideLondon go? It’s a huge event as I realised on the way there, the train to Stratford from Richmond was absolutely packed with bikes and cyclists and once at the Olympic Park we progressed slowly along the holding pen till eventually released onto the open road at 0820. The first 45 miles of the course are all pretty much flat, the initial few miles the roads are wide and the surface good. I had been warned not to set off too quickly so paced myself and enjoyed the views. The first climb is at 47 miles, Newlands Corner. Not actually that steep though it is fairly long as it climbs the dip slope of the North Downs. One of my gear cables had come loose shortly before so I only had low gears to use anyway and got up the hill fairly easily, and though it was fiddly and ideally needed someone with 3 hands and a pair of pliers I did sort it out at the hub on the top of the hill. The next few miles are in rolling Surrey countryside, very pretty but the roads are narrow and congestion was a problem. In all we must have spent over 40 minutes here and there in bike jams (see the photo - the only one I took when on the bike, for obvious reasons!) which caused issues later in the ride. Leith Hill came next and though I had done it in training it is still quite a tough hill. Fortunately the really steep bit, which is in the middle of the climb, is not all that long and knowing what was to come I dropped into low gears early and paced myself up the hill. With so many other riders either cycling or walking up at a variety of speeds it is tricky to keep to a steady rhythm and I was very glad to see the top of the hill. A quick stop at Westcott to refill water bottles, but they had run out of energy bars and the electrolyte tablets for the drinks. Dorking was a bit slow and congested; the roads are narrow and there were cheering crowds. Next stop was meant to be the climb up Box Hill but as there had been several delays already in the ride we were diverted straight to Leatherhead without being able to do this famous climb. It also meant I missed the planned stop at the top of the hill to refuel. Most of the remaining ride is flat and fast so I speeded up a bit through Leatherhead and Oxshott. Kingston town centre probably had the biggest crowds of anywhere except the finish as well as a couple of pretty tight fast bends in the company of a lot of tired cyclists, so a great feel as well as some excitement. The last climb is up Wimbledon Hill Road, which is neither long nor that steep but hitting it after over 80 miles of cycling and after running out of water and calories I was panting pretty hard by the time I was up it. Then downhill all through Putney and over the bridge. The last bit on the north bank of the Thames is again flat, wide and fast, with the knowledge the finish is not far away. A couple of sweeping bends at speed through Parliament Square then a sprint down the Mall to the finish![/p][p]A huge amount of organisation goes into this event and the experience of riding for 100 miles on traffic-free roads is great. I’m much less sore and achey than I was after doing the Marathon a few years ago. My neck is the worst bit from looking over my shoulder repeatedly to check for bikes coming up fast from behind before pulling out to pass slower cyclists. My legs seem fine, which is odd. Many thanks to all my sponsors. I’ve raised well over my fundraising target of £1000 already and I hope there is still more to come in. Thank you to Camilla at KCAH for organising things and inviting me to ride as well as cheering me on. Thank you to Andrew Turner for riding with me and urging me on especially over the last 10 miles, when I thought I was flagging but my split times show that in fact I was averaging over 19 mph! I might be back next year…[/p][p][br][/p]
Prudential Ride London image 1
Prudential Ride London image 2

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Supporters

Aug 10, 2019

Mike and Ros

Well done Andrew!

£40.00 plus £10.00 Gift Aid

Aug 7, 2019

Mum

Congratulations darling- what an achievement! I so loved reading all about your ride afterwards. I am very proud of you Love Mum xx

£50.00

Aug 6, 2019

Pauline and John Palmer

Well done Andrew. Don't know how you do it. Far beyond the call of duty I say!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Aug 6, 2019

Lora and Terry

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Aug 4, 2019

Howard Phillips

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Aug 4, 2019

Lizzie P

Good luck Andrew! X

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Aug 3, 2019

Louise Nash and Alana

Best of luck for tomorrow, such a fantastic cause. Your new hip will be fine, but the rest of you might not enjoy it so much!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Aug 3, 2019

Anonymous

Good luck Andrew from Angela and Harriet.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Aug 2, 2019

Mark and Diana

Praying for good weather and an incident free ride.

Aug 2, 2019

John and Alison

Good luck for Sunday from John & Alison