This is Helen’s story – what’s yours? #meetourriders

We’re super proud to have Vivergo Fuels as one of our Principal Partners this year and it’s great to have their support. The team are getting involved in lots of ways to raise money for The Ellie Penrose Fund including Helen, who is riding route two with her husband.

It all started with a sense of adventure (and a picnic!) for Helen and this has been reignited by the Sportive which is taking place right on Vivergo’s doorstep. Read here to find out how this has inspired Helen and her hubby to dust off their handlebars and get back into the saddle.

Which route have you chosen to ride?

My husband and I are doing Route 2 – 42miles.

What was your motivation to take part?

To get my husband cycling again. In 2011 he cycled across France to celebrate his 60th year and raised money for our local school. However, he hasn’t been on his bike much in the last 18 months, so we saw this as a great motivation to get back in the saddle and it’s a win-win raising money for charity.

What’s the best thing about cycling?

I have cycled for many years; as a child, it was a big adventure to pack the saddle bag of my Raleigh bike with a picnic and head off onto the quiet roads of Co Durham with my best friend. I’ve done cycle touring and a few long-distance charity rides over the years but not for a long time. I cycle commute one or two days a week if I can which helps me fit in an exercise routine when a busy life limits what I can do – most of my day is sat down in front of a PC. But most of all its about getting outside and exploring the lovely country lanes we have in this area.

If you could cycle anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I would like to do Eurovelo 8 which is a cycle route along the Mediterranean coast from Cadiz in the west of Spain across to Athens. The Eurovelo routes are designed to use quiet roads and designated cycle routes, making the most of the natural scenery.

What tips would you give to newcomers to the sportive?

Get your bike set up right for you. Saddle height, handle bar height and tyre pressure are all so crucial to enjoying being in the saddle. I am not a fan of wide gel saddles – false, short-term comfort!

If you could go on a ride with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

We’re a big fan of Thomas Voeckler. He has grit and determination and pushes himself to the very limit. When I started watching the Tour de France only a few years ago, I remember watching him wearing the Yellow Jersey over several days and he was so motivated to hold onto it for as long as he could! Then we had the pleasure of watching him win the Tour de Yorkshire last year.

What would be the best thing to greet you at the finish line?

A nice massage.

And lastly, with your after race food voucher, will it be a bacon or sausage butty?

I don’t mind, either will be very welcome by then.

If, like Helen and her hubby, you have been looking for a bit of motivation, why not join us for the ride on 18th June? It’s all for a great cause.