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Helen's Story

Helen

“ It’s 10 years since my son Jack was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with 2 Rifles. I decided to ride 45km to raise money and awareness for Help for Heroes. ”

It’s 10 years since my son Jack was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with 2 Rifles. He was 21 and lost both legs above knee, left arm above elbow as well as other slightly less significant injuries. I’d always hankered to own a bike, wanted to do something to improve my health and have always been an advocate for Help for Heroes who have raised the profile of what was happening with the soldiers returning from Afghanistan with such devastating injuries. I decided to ride 45km to raise money and awareness for Help for Heroes. I signed up for the 1-1 Cycle Confident training with an older female instructor who went beyond her job to get me into shape – she was simply brilliant!

“ Cycling every day basically saves you money on a gym membership! ”

Read Marghe of Enfield Council's story

The ride was held on the 29th June 2019, which turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year. At the 30-mile mark I was overtaken by a jogger and I came last. It didn’t matter as I finished the ride in gruelling conditions and raised £665 for Help for Heroes. It’s surprising how quickly you build up strength and stamina. I have had both hips replaced within the last 18 months, have arthritis in my knees, am 62 years, have never owned a bike and until recently could only just about ride one, so I felt brilliant given that 12 weeks earlier I was out of puff doing a 20 minute ride!

For me, cycling is good for both your mental (sociable) and physical (low impact) health. Before I started cycling, I couldn’t get up from sitting without using my arms but now I can. You also discover so much more as a cyclist, seeing things you would have never seen before.