A keen cyclist from Slinfold will jump into the saddle for Britain’s biggest bike race in a generation to raise money for a cause very close to his heart.
Peter Haynes, 43, was devastated when his mother Joan passed away from bone cancer in 2009 following a short illness, just a few weeks after complaining of a bad back.
And he will join 20,000 other riders to tackle a 100-mile route, starting from the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and finishing on The Mall in central London, in support of Bone Cancer Research Trust.
It is just one of a series of events taking place in the capital on the weekend of August 3 and 4, with an eight-mile FreeCycle around the city’s iconic landmarks also taking place as well as a Grand Prix for aspiring young cyclists and the London-Surrey Classic featuring some of the world’s best riders.
Peter, who runs a PR agency in Dorking, believes bone cancer research is an under-supported area and is excited to help change that.
“It was such a silent killer,” he said. “She was a very fit and healthy 68-year-old and one day she just complained that she had a bad back. It can’t have been more than ten weeks between that and the day she passed away.
“The thing with bone cancer is it’s one of those cancers that doesn’t get a lot of visibility like lung cancer and breast cancer, which are better known as prolific killers.
“When you know somebody that is ill with it, you appreciate that it is one of those forms of cancer that is very hard to treat and deal with.
“Some people are serial fundraisers, but for me this is the first time I have done a big physical challenge to raise money and that is a good feeling – hopefully I will have some fun in the process.”
Organisers are aiming to make the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 the largest charity fundraising cycle event in the world, with the route taking place on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside.
Closely following the route of the Olympic road race, the course will feature leg-testing climbs made famous by some of the world’s best cyclists – who will take to the road later that day on August 4.
Peter said he struggles to find time in a busy schedule to get some serious training under his belt, but he does have home advantage in his favour.
“I actually live in the area, so I can look out of my window at Box Hill,” he added. “Once we are out of central London, a lot of the route is on roads I cycle regularly.
“What is going to make it quite special is the amount of closed roads and to finish on The Mall. If you are a cyclist it will be equivalent of the London Marathon.”
A host of celebrities are also scheduled to join Peter on the road, including three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker.
“It’s going to be a great event with many opportunities for people to watch as the race travels through your local area,” said the 47-year-old German sports star.
“It’s the largest ever cycling road race to take place within the UK so even if you’re not taking part you may be affected by the route - take a look on the RideLondon website to see where the route goes.”
To support Peter, visit his JustGiving page and make a donation.
Prudential RideLondon takes place on August 3 and 4. If you’re inspired to ride, visit their website.