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London to Paris Bike Ride Review – Paul Lindley CEO Ella’s Kitchen – Ride25

Cycling Testimonials

London to Paris Bike Ride Review – Paul Lindley CEO Ella’s Kitchen – Ride25

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Paul Lindley CEO of Ella’s Kitchen explains how Ride25 has impacted on him personally and his team from Ella’s Kitchen. He is passionate about raising money for 1morechild.

What inspired you to do Ride25?

For me it combined a passion of mine, the idea of feeling really fit, the idea of being with mates for a few days, the idea of being outside and seeing bits of different countries we’re going through, and it’s a huge goal, huge hairy goal, and I love huge hairy goals.

How much cycling you embarked on Ride25?

I hadn’t done a lot to be honest, I bought a bike to train for the trip, got really excited about it, typical guy in his 40s, wanting to get fit, trying to find a new thing to do, and I got the bug straight away. And I think the training to do it was as much fun as the trip itself, actually.

What type of bike do you own?

So the bike that I originally bought was a Fuji which are better known for cameras than bikes. But I got a year old model, it was discounted. I did it through the Bike to Work scheme so I got it discounted – started cycling to work actually as part of it. And then this year I’ve been lucky enough to get a Pinarello Dogma 2 bike which I can’t wait to get out. It weighs like nothing. aAd it’s going to take me on the leg from Geneva to Milan this year.

What was the farthest you had cycled before Ride25?

I reckon the farthest I’d cycled before the first ride was probably 10, 15, 20 miles? 2 or 3 hours? On a clapped out mountain bike on paths and B-roads. I reckon I did about 6 months, 6-7 months of training from getting my first road bike to going from the UK to Paris.

Do you participate in any other sports?

So besides cycling I play squash every week, I do a little bit of gym work, and golf was my thing. So a varied amount of sports but cycling gives me a different kind of exercise than anything else. But I just love being outside. The headspace is one thing, the training just gives you thinking space, fresh air, on your own (or with mates). It’s different from other sports.

How many legs do you intend to complete?

I’m going to do all 25 legs! I’ll be in my 70s by the time I get there but I’ll be over the finishing line. so it’ll be old men in lycra, not middle aged men in lycra.

Which leg are you looking forward to the most?

I think, well I’m looking forward to all of it. I think there’s parts of Asia, south-east Asia, I think will be fascinating. Picking up cultures, picking up different foods and hopefully not picking up diseases and illnesses!

But for me you know the whole thing that’s driving it is One More Child, and each year, as we get closer to Sydney, we’re going to accumulate millions of pounds for a charity that was founded by one guy and his wife that first year had 40 kids, then they grew it to about 80 kids, then last year we managed to get them to look after 200 kids through 100 and something people riding to Geneva. Just think what we can do in 25 years. That’s the thing that’s fascinating and exciting.

Is it just about the cycling?

It’s not just about the cycling although that’s a key part of it: it’s what unites everybody I think. I think whether you’re a triathlete and you get across the finishing line first, or you’re brand new to cycling and it’s just a long day with friends and you’re pedalling at the speed you want to go. That doesn’t matter, which part of that. So the camaraderie, the culture, the food, the sort of, just having fun and being in the outside. That’s what I love.

What is the best bit about Ride25?

The best thing about the trip for me has been the difference we’ve made to the One More Child children. And the fact that you can find something getting from A to B, you can find a hundred-and-something people, most of whom you haven’t met before, and by the end of 3 or 4 days, you’re mates with them, you cycle with different people along the way, you’ve had a laugh, and had a few beers at the end of it.

What is the worst bit about Ride25?

The worst thing are the endless hills and the fact that you’re overtaken by a Brompton bike. By an overweight guy on a Brompton bike, towards the end of 7 hours going uphill!

What has surprised you most about the trips so far?

I think the thing that’s surprised me most about the trip is actually that I felt less knackered at the end of the 4 days than I thought I would. You know, you do your training, you get up to 60 miles or 70 miles in your training, then you’re doing 80, 90, 100 miles a day for 4 days. And I didn’t think I could walk after that. But you know, that gives me my confidence that I’m still a little bit fit, and I’ve had a laugh along the way.

What do your friends and family think about it?

My friends and family think I’m mad. a 25 year commitment. they’re a bit jealous, I think. I think my kids are probably a little bit inspired, although they won’t admit that, and it gets me out of the house and in the fresh air.

What are the benefits of Ride25 from a corporate perspective?

From a corporate point of view, I set up my company and I’ve got 70 odd people which each time we’ve taken people on board, and it’s been such a motivating thing to be able to do. We’re doing it as part of teamwork, part of as we’re raising money for a good cause – it’s about children and my business is about children, and everybody in the company is aware of what we’re doing. We sponsor each leg as a company and I just think ways of getting people within a company to meet each other, talk to each other, spend days together is really good for a company and communications within the company. So there are a number of companies that do it, and I think it’s a great corporate exercise. If nothing else, you bond.

Has the trip changed your view of cycling?

From being a novice into cycling before the first leg, I don’t really have a lot of experience of whether this is mad, easy, everybody does it, nobody’s done it before, whatever. It’s motivating me, it’s keeping me fit, it’s getting me to parts of the world I wouldn’t have been to before, it’s meeting new people that are fascinating, and we’ll be friends for a long time, and it’s an achievement. A personal achievement. Within all of that, cycling’s just such a great sport.

Do you have any training tips?

So for training, we tend to do it in June. So I tend to start in January, indoors on a turbo trainer, then get outdoor when the spring comes and try to built up to 60 miles, 70 miles before the first day of the 4 day trip. And I think diet is really important as well in that lead up, and just look after yourself. But there’s lots of advice out there. If you can get a little regime, stick to it, and do it.