On 6th July I had the privilege of working with the Prudential and the Transformation Trust at the London Olympic Velopark as a preparation event for the Pru RideLondon sportive at the end of the July.
We delivered a session on employability for three groups of riders with challenging backgrounds – Invictus Athletes, GreenHouse sports-coached young people and TeachFirst staff and students from some challenged schools in London.
The day was about preparation for the riders – supporting their charities and sponsored by the Prudential (with bikes, clothes, training and equipment) – so we delivered a session on how the attitudes and behaviours that they exhibit during their RideLondon prep can be used for ongoing personal and career development.
Following the morning session, lunch and 6 laps of the closed circuit at the Lee Valley Velopark, we set off on a 56 mile trip along the Lee Valley river and into Essex and Hertfordshire countryside.
There were around 50 of us on the ride as we sped along the dusty tow path in bright sunshine with shouts of ‘walker’, ‘rider’, ‘pothole’, ‘cobbles’, ‘cuddly toy’ as we avoided obstacles. (OK, I made up the bit about the cuddly toy). The feeling of camaraderie from all the riders was fantastic, whether they were injured war veterans, apprentice coaches, teachers or sixth form students the feeling of friendship and fun was fantastic.
Along the route we all chatted about the challenges being faced, training plans, bike troubles – mainly gears and saddles! – and what the future holds for us all.
It’s fair to say that when we returned to the VeloPark at 6pm, smiling but exhausted after many hours in the saddle we had all learned something: Something about the challenge, something about others on a similar journey or maybe, just maybe, something about ourselves and the capacity we have to rise to a challenge and change things for the better.
A thoroughly wonderful, life-affirming and delightful day. I’m so pleased to have been asked to be involved and I would like to thank Jane at the Prudential and Amy at the Transformation Trust for the chance to be involved.
There are plenty of pictures and video clips on our Twitter feed @EnterpriseSBox