This is Ian’s story – what’s yours?

The Humber Bridge Sportive is now in its fourth year and has raised around £20,000 for charity during this time. Impressive! But all this couldn’t happen without the meticulous planning of our lovely ride organisers Andy Cawley and Ian Nicholls. So what first inspired Ian to be a part of it? Find out here.  

I’ve had an interest in cycling for as long as I can remember, embarking upon my first major adventure as a 17-year-old. Together with a friend, we cycled from Burnley, via Harwich and The Hook of Holland, to the former East German border at Goslar, and back!

I no longer have any recollection as to how long it took us, but I do remember I paid £9 for my Dawes d’Artagnan bike, we only had a Michelin road map of Europe to point us in the general direction, we had no punctures (thankfully) and there is no record of it on Strava!

Since moving to Hull in 1979 to embark upon a career in teaching Modern Languages and Games, I have always been involved in local sport, particularly cricket, where for reasons too complicated to explain, I became known as Syd.

Once the knees had reached the point of no return for competitive cricket and running, I started to cycle again, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Living in Hessle, I regularly cycle across the bridge, and have discovered the delights of the quiet roads of North Lincolnshire, which is where the seeds for the sportive were sown.

During my 35 year teaching career, I had always been involved in fundraising for local charities, so it seemed a logical development to combine this element of my interests with a cycling event – strange as it sounds, the Humber Bridge Sportive turned out to be the first ride to use this “iconic structure” as a focal point.

Planning and delivering a successful sportive proved to be an extremely daunting prospect, but I was fortunate to enlist the help of Andy Cawley, a local cyclist of some repute, who had a wealth of experience in planning cycling events.

Together with Andy and a fantastic team of family and friends, we got the first ride off the ground in 2014, and to date have managed to raise around £20,000.

This year’s event, based at Hesslewood Office Park, promises to be very exciting indeed, and we look forward to raising a significant amount of money for The Ellie Penrose Fund.

Ian/Syd Nicholls.