During 2017 I was training to participate in the Race the Sun charity event on the Isle of Wight with all my work colleagues from Bishopsgate. As my training intensified so did the upper back pains but as they say “no pain, no gain” until one day the back pains spread around my whole upper body and I found it very hard to breathe. Not knowing what was happening I asked Mandy, my wonderful wife, to take me to the hospital (not wanting to call 999 as they are busy enough) which we did with plenty of incident on route, wife double checking the house was locked, road closures, wife refusing to park in the wrong place in the hospital etc. After a few hours in A&E and the pain subsiding we were ready to go home but was then informed by the doctor that I had had a heart attack! After further investigation I was informed I would be staying in hospital until I had a double heart bypass, so I was in hospital for nearly a month but the care I received was outstanding and I would never be able to thank the NHS and the British Heart Foundation enough.
The picture below was taken at the Swindon Sportive in 2017, the day before my heart attack. During this ride I had about 20 angina attacks (I thought it was back pain) and in the end I had to stop as the pain kept coming back and became too intense. It was at the furthest point from my home and I still had to ride home!
My cycling challenge
Thankfully I am now fully recovered and it is time to give something back. I am planning to do three bike rides for the British Heart Foundation as a thank you for all that they do. This will be challenging as I have never covered anything close to these distances before. But I’ve been given the green light by my doctor so it’s all systems go. I’ve even managed to get Tim Bloch, Bishopsgate’s MD, to join me on some of the events too
The most famous is, of course, the London to Brighton Bike Ride that has seen over hundreds of thousands of cyclists pedaling millions of miles between them and raising hundreds of millions of pounds in the fight against heart and circulatory disease. But I’ve got two more ‘warm up’ events before I take on that challenge.
The first of those is on the 23rd March. I will be cycling from Kempton Park to Reading; in total about 40 miles and it’s relatively flat isn’t it? On Sunday 12th May, I will cycling closer to home in and around The Cotswolds. The 30 mile bike ride around the Cotswold’s countryside is the perfect family ride; the 50 mile route is tad more hillier and tougher. I guess which route I take will depend on who I can get to join me (any more Bishopsgate volunteers perhaps?) and once I know just how well my training is going.
The London to Brighton Cycle Ride
Sunday 16th June is the big one. The historic London to Brighton race covers 54 miles, is in its 44th year and last year had over 16,000 entrants. It know it will be an unforgettable experience and one that I am really looking forward to. I have heard that the view from Ditchling Beacon, the highest point of the ride, will be well earned and hard to beat. Let’s not talk about how I get up that hill just yet please.
Nick added, “Sadly, every three minutes someone will lose their life to heart and circulatory disease. The British Heart Foundation is fighting back through its essential heart research, but they need our help, which is why I chose to take part in these three cycling events. I am trying to raise money for the British Heart Foundation as a big thank you for what they do and for the amazing treatment that I received in 2017.
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