My name is Shane Prendergast and on the 1st of September I will attempt to cycle 3200 miles across America over a period of 28 consecutive days to raise money for children with deafness or cancer. The ride in itself will be hugely difficult but if you consider the fact I only started cycling in September 2015 (a year before the ride), it’s enough to send you nauseous.
Both the ride and the charities are very personal to me. My father – being the hero he is – has raised over £50k for charity in the form of gruelling bike rides. His main rides include across America, Australia, Canada and around the coast of Britain. I’m immensely proud of my father and I would like to follow in his footsteps and give something back to those less fortunate. Almost twenty years later I’m attempting his first foreign ride which was across America and named Ride For The Child.
At the beginning of this process I found myself a trainer and we started working on my legs and core, two fundamental muscle groups used for cycling. That took longer than I thought and it is only now, after nine months, that I have started to really up my mileage without issues. I am training 4/5 times a week and I’ve some exciting training rides coming up including RideLondon, a 100mile ride around the roads of our capital!
Being deaf has undoubtedly been the most challenging aspect of my life and while it doesn’t directly prevent you from cycling, it has taken some practice. In addition to raising a minimum of £10,000 and plenty of awareness for my chosen charities, I also hope to prove that disability is no barrier to life, and doesn’t prevent people from embracing their passions.
Evans to the rescue!!
Being a novice cyclist, I was in desperate need of bike help and Evans very kindly provided me with that in the form of a bike fit and maintenance course.
With me having to ride so many miles per day, a bike fit was essential to make sure I’m as comfortable and productive as possible. The service – from Hannah at Deansgate – was fantastic and I was provided with lots of useful and descriptive information regarding why I need to be positioned correctly, especially for prolonged periods of time. Having experienced some really frustrating back pain I cannot emphasise the importance of a good bike fit. In addition, it has also enabled me to get more power into my pedals, meaning I’m riding faster and climbing harder than I have before!
I was absolutely clueless about the mechanics of the bike and the maintenance course has provided me with sound knowledge that will be invaluable when I’m in America, and for the rest of my life! We covered chains, spokes, gears, brakes and all the basics. Having already covered over 4000 miles in my training I have already experienced a few issues and I really wish I had done this course sooner. Ted, the Macclesfield branch manager, was an exceptional teacher and I left the course feeling a much more complete cyclist and, most importantly, confident I can resolve bike issues in America.
As my ride approaches I’m feeling a mixed of emotions, scared, apprehensive but also excited and on a constant high. Whatever happens I will try my absolute best to complete my challenges, both on and off the road. I won’t lose focus of the children I’m helping at the end.