Anyone that has recently witnessed my current mid-life crisis sporting endeavours has come to realise that I am more than up for a challenge. I only started running on the 8th January this year and by the end of April crossed the finished line – during what is now on record as the hottest and most congested London marathon – in a time of 5 hrs 12mins and still with a smile on my face.

So the question that followed this was, what on earth to do now?

My penchant for supporting children’s charities, in particular the NSPCC, has meant that fundraising naturally sits within my blood and so when a client suggested that I look towards assisting a small charity in Chelmsford, which is a centre for autistic children, my ears pricked up.

The Ark Centre is an amazing facility that really helps children by improving the quality of their lives and growing their communications skills. The owner of the centre, a keen cyclist, was busy creating a new fundraising venture for which seemed another perfect opportunity to do some good whilst challenging my physical self.

Now I haven’t been on a bike since I was 14 years old… and so cycling from France to London seemed a bit of a jump (!) from my BMX days, but as some would say, I like to throw myself into everything I do, so I accepted the ‘Arc to Ark’ Cycling Challenge in the same manner – feet first and with great gusto!

My first training session was last week, it turned out that I didn’t just have ‘no idea’ but I had ‘no gear’ either! The 25 strong cyclists there for the introductory training ride were kind and helpful as I completed my first ride in over 20 years… which happened to be 20.6 miles long without padded shorts.

Now that my backside has fully recovered, and some padded shorts been purchased, I am back on my bike and ready to train appropriately. It turns out that you do in fact never forget and I’m sure it will be as easy as, erm… riding a bike???

If anyone would like to support this very worthy cause all funds go directly to The Ark Centre so please do click here and donate, it is very much appreciated.