Tell us why you riding for Shaare Zedek?

 I’m riding for Shaare Zedek as I feel an affinity for the Hospital ever since visiting them in 2007 with a delegation of colleagues from the hospital where I was Medical Director - Sunderland Royal Hospital. This was to get ideas for a new emergency department built which was finally realised last year incorporating many of the design elements that we learned from Shaare Zedek. Although I have since retired from clinical practice I retain an interest in my old hospital and in Shaare Zedek.

 Have you ever ridden 100 miles before? 

Yes I’ve ridden 100 miles before. I completed the Prudential Ride 100 last year to raise money for Shaare Zedek. I also done three long distance rides for them in past years - London to Paris twice and Cork to Dublin. My cycling was interrupted in 2015.  I was quite badly injured in a cycling accident when I was hit by a car. It took me more than a year to get back on the bike! 

How is training going?

Training is going well. I am interspersing long and challenging rides on the bike with punishing schedules in the gym working on upper and lower body strength. I had just competed a 125km training ride today in a little over 5 hours.

What are you most excited about / nervous about?

I am excited about the whole atmosphere and challenge of the ride. Last year I managed to fall off my bike about 25 miles from the finish and broke a finger! Minor damage to the bike only! Not intending to repeat the experience this year! 

Have you been given any advice or what are your top tips for pushing through the pain barrier?

In a former life I was a Professor of Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology and did a lot of research in the adaptation to and limitations of performance. I learned a lot from working with my friends and colleagues at Loughborough University about how to maximise performance. I’m also using the training guides from British Cycling.

 

What do you focus on to get you through such a long challenge?

I’ll listen to music on my iPhone and enjoy the experience. Cycling with so many people always provides an additional stimulus to perform well. I’ve also set myself a target of trying to complete the ride in under 7 hours which for my age (68) may be a little ambitious!

 

Trusty bike or new wheels for the occasion?

I using a new bike for the ride. Well it’s not completely new but I’ve never done a sportive or very long ride on it before. I bought it just before my accident so have only just started using it again. It’s a limited edition Storck Fascenario 0.6 with a full Campagnolo Super Record group set. It’s a very special bike! Having just done 125km on it it will be perfect! 

 

What will be on the menu for breakfast on the morning of the ride or are you more looking forward to the celebratory drink / meal afterwards? –

I’m staying with my daughter in London for the duration of the ride. I will have a carbohydrate load the night before. For breakfast I’ll just have cereal - muesli - and toast with a couple of strong coffees. I’ll keep hydrated with isotonic sports drinks throughout the ride and some energy bars to keep me going! The meal after will be more substantial!

You can show your support and sponsor Leslie here