We spoke to Omar, a customer of our Newcastle shop to ask him a few questions about an upcoming charity ride from London to Paris. Currently, he’s training for this event while also juggling a busy job as a Stroke Medicine Consultant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
So first of all, with a busy life, what made you want to do this 300 mile cycle?
I decided to do the London – Paris Cycle Challenge in May to support the BridgingStroke Charity who do a lot of great work in the hospital I work at. It is an iconic and popular cycling challenge which most people would understand, and involves riding a distance of about 300 miles. I am doing it during some of my annual leave time. I’m hoping I help the charity’s fundraising efforts so they can provide equipment for patient care that cannot be bought from existing budgets.
As a doctor, I presume you juggle working shifts and weekend work. How do you have time to train?
Training has been more erratic than I would like. It has to be worked around weekend on calls. Now that the days are longer, waking early on weekdays, maybe at 04:30 hrs, to go cycling before work is something I attempt when I can. I usually get home too late from work to do any useful cycling then. I am a keen cyclist but one still needs to build stamina for multi-day events, in this case cycling roughly 70-75 miles a day for 4 consecutive days. You cannot afford to be flexible about training, so you need to stick to the schedule made. Weekday on calls do take a toll on this. Training teaches dedication and a desire to improve your abilities in all areas. You understand that you have to make sacrifices for other gains.
Are there any good training routes you’ve down in and around Newcastle?
I cycle in Northumbria past Newcastle Airport, on the backroads. This takes me to Newton and places where there is little traffic and rolling hills. I also like the routes from Newcastle to Belsay on the backroads. Winters Gibbet at Elsdon is a good challenge but very windy. These are largely 30-40 mile loops.
What Bikes do you have?
I have been a customer of the Newcastle branch of Edinburgh Bicycle for a number of years. My favourite cycles are my Koga World Traveller and Genesis Croix De Fer, acquired from this branch in 2006 and 2013 respectively. However, I will not be using either of these cycles in order to avoid the possibility of damage during transit such as the Eurostar journey back. For this challenge, I will use either my Genesis Zero Z1 (bought through the Cyclescheme from your Newcastle store) or my Trek Domane (aluminium disc brake version) – serviced at your Newcastle store, if the weather looks as if it is going to be poor.
Why do you trust us with your bikes?
I have all my services in Newcastle at the Edinburgh Cycles store. Your staff always offer the best value in their advice. They take time to understand your problems and address them appropriately. When choosing to buy the Genesis Zero Z1, the sales assistants were helpful in sorting out the Cyclescheme and acquiring the cycle for a test and sizing.
To help Omar fundraise for BridgingStroke, you can donate online here.
Over To You
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