Although readers may be more accustomed to seeing me pop up on the telly – over the last 12 months I’m just as likely to be spotted out on my bike.
I’m now a dedicated convert to road cycling and love encouraging more people to take to the saddle.
Not only is it a fantastic sport, its one of the very few in which absolutely everyone, of all ages and ability, can take part in and enjoy doing together.
I’ve been out for rides with my wife, my kids, my mum as well as friends and work colleagues. It really is a sport for everyone.
Challenging yourself physically and raising money for a worthwhile cause are both motivating and rewarding experiences - if this can be done whilst having a good time riding a bike amongst friends in beautiful scenery then so much the better.
One charity which I have recently got to know is children’s charity Action Medical Research.
They are currently looking for riders to join their popular RIDE100 series, which has over 20 rides to choose from across the country this year.
I would like to encourage your readers – both regular riders and newbies, looking for a great challenge, to consider taking part.
I’ve been closely involved with Action Medical Research since I took part in the Castle Ride in Kent in 2011, and have since become extremely passionate about their work.
This wonderful charity has been funding vital research for 60 years to help sick babies, children with disabilities and those suffering from a rare disease.
I am saddling up for the Castle Ride in Kent this summer and I am very sure it is going to be my favourite bicycle experience of the whole year.
It really is a stunning ride, taking in the North Downs and loads of quiet lanes through the county.
Its incredibly well organised, attracts over 1,000 riders and is supported by first class medical support, mechanical services and a sweep vehicle.
All the RIDE100s offer a choice of two countryside routes, a 100-mile challenge or a shorter 100km route course for those looking to take it a little bit easier (like me). It’s not a race and most people tackle it in a pretty relaxed fashion.
Enjoying a great day out is key on the RIDE100 series so rest assured you will be looked after every inch of the way!
One of the aspects I particularly appreciated about it last year was that the route is fully signed and also that volunteers welcome you at the various rest stops with wonderful snacks.
There are plenty of drinks/lunch stops.
So why not grab a group of mates and join me for a great spring ride? It really is a great day out! Most importantly, every mile pedalled will help sick babies and children. To find out more and to register visit www.action.org.uk/castle or call Sarah Stevenson on (0127) 3735788.