Riding For The Trust – Gareth Doherty
RideLondon will be the first long distance bike ride that Gareth Doherty has ever done. The 25-year-old from Ireland now lives in Ealing and is looking forward to representing the Trust in May.
Hi Gareth, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Gareth Doherty, I’m 25 years old and I moved to London last year from Ireland having lived in Belfast for a few years after graduating from uni. I work in Transport Planning with the London Borough of Hounslow, and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. I have always loved cycling as a way of getting around but it’s only been the past year or so that I have got into road cycling as a hobby, and I haven’t looked back really. It isn’t the cheapest of hobbies but at this stage I’m still very much a beginner with beginner gear. I’m sure at some point in the not so distant future I’ll be one of “those people” with a bike worth more than a car.
What inspired you to take part in RideLondon on behalf of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust?
Although I’m still a bit of a newbie to the area, I have to say I have really taken a liking to Brentford FC. I grew up as a Liverpool fan (sorry!) but since moving to Ealing and working within Hounslow I have a soft spot for the Bees – they are the local ‘big team’ and what they have done in such a short time in the Premier League is brilliant. A colleague mentioned that the Community Sports Trust was looking for people to fundraise for RideLondon on behalf of the charity, and it seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on. I’ll be very proud to wear the jersey on the day and represent all the good work the charity does.
Have you done any long-distance cycling challenges before? If so what event?
I haven’t! This will be my first, and in June I’ll be participating in London-Brighton which is around 54 miles. So far as part of my training the furthest I have gone is 50 miles, but I’m going to be ramping this up in the next few weeks. I know that the route for this year’s ride is relatively flat so I’m confident in my ability to complete the event in a decent time – well, by my own beginner standards!
What are you most looking forward to on the day?
I think it’s the totally traffic free nature of the event that I’m looking forward to the most. Traffic isn’t something that we can avoid here in London when going for a cycle, and being able to go 100 miles without traffic lights or a fear of colliding with big vehicles is something very unique. Although, colliding with other cyclists is something I’ll need to be very cautious of!
Do you have any family, friends, or a group you go out cycling with?
I’m not part of a cycling group at the moment, but I cycle with some colleagues from work and also another friend who is taking part in the RideLondon event with another charity. He’s a league above me in the cycling game so it’s good training for sure!
What are your top tips for other people who are thinking about taking on a similar challenge?
Easy – just sign up and worry about the finer details later! It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and ultimately it will benefit you in the long run. 100 miles is no easy distance, but having the date in the distance and being a fundraiser for charity is a great way to motivate yourself to train and prepare properly for it. It’s all about the journey of it rather than reaching the finish in a record time – no matter what your individual goal is for the challenge, its going to be a great experience and can only be viewed as a positive thing. But aside from that, I would say finding someone else or a group to keep you motivated and accountable during training is key. It’s only going to make it more enjoyable as well.
What message do you have for people who are supporting you by donating?
Thank you very much first of all! You’re donating to a great charity who do brilliant work for the local residents and youth in the area.
And finally, what’s the first thing you’re going to do after RideLondon?
I can’t lie, as soon as I get off my bike I will be on the hunt for a well-earned ice cold beer, closely followed by some form of unhealthy food! The simple things are important!
To follow Gareth’s journey and to support him with any donations, please click here.