FOUR intrepid Leeds cyclists who decided to get in the saddle by entering the world’s greatest festival of cycling — RideLondon — under the banner Team LJWB for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, say they would do it all again.
Andrew Saffman and Lloyd Rakusen headed the team, which included Andrew’s daughter Hannah Roberts and Lloyd’s son Philip Rakusen in the 100-mile Prudential RideLondon-Surrey festival of cycling.
The route weaved through central London before taking cyclists into the stunning countryside and the beautiful hills of Surrey.
After four years, this 100-mile event has become the foremost cycle festival on the planet with more than 95,000 riders from all over the world, most of them doing it for their personal preferred charity and, of course, their personal best.
Millions of pounds have been raised from the event since 2013. Lloyd said: “We are exploring every avenue to raise those desperately- needed funds for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board to help those most vulnerable in our community. The community’s support and previous generosity was our inspiration.”
The weekend proved to be eventful. Setting off by car, Philip had a problem. His bike had snapped when he closed the hood of the vehicle.
However, after a bike repair in London, the quartet turned up in glorious weather and with adrenaline pumping at 5.30am met 30,000 competitors who were all merged into the Olympic village.
They set off to comparative calm, only to be met off-track by huge delays later on coming in to Surrey.
“Organisers were forced to cut the 100-mile route by 26 miles due to stoppages for two cyclists taken to hospital following crashes,” said Lloyd.
Once en route, the team enjoyed “great water stops” where the foursome boosted their energy levels with fig biscuits, rice cakes and Isotonic drinks, eventually speeding comfortably together to the finish.
“It was a fantastic day and fabulous company,” said Lloyd, who thanked “all those wonderful LJWB supporters who got behind us and cheered us on”.
After eight hours in the saddle and nursing some very sore backsides, the squad soon forgot the pain and the effort.
“We’ll be up for it again next year,” added Lloyd.
‘We’d do 100-mile ride all over again’