Lukas Paprocki is riding to raise funds for the charity helping his son to combat cancer
My son Dorian is six and when he was two years old he was diagnosed with leukaemia and underwent treatment, but the cancer returned.
As a parent you feel helpless, so I’ve used something I love, cycling, to raise funds for the The Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity that has helped our family.
During last year’s RideLondon I found climbing Leith Hill the toughest point
I’ve completed a number of rides for the charity and love my training route from South East London via Beckenham and Westerham to Hartfield Village. I also cycle a 20km round trip to work every day and haven’t taken a tube or bus for seven years.
Recently I rode part of the final mountain stage of the 2016 Giro d’Italia along with six colleagues, including my boss — I’m a hotel concierge. We’re all skilled cyclists, but at different levels, and just 10 minutes into the first climb my boss threw up and another workmate almost fainted. After some chocolate and electrolytes he was okay and everyone finished.
I’ve also completed RideLondon as well as charity rides from London to Brighton and back again, and London to Newhaven Fort and back for The Anthony Nolan Trust.
During last year’s RideLondon I found climbing Leith Hill the toughest point, I just couldn’t find my tempo for the traffic. Before the ride I pledged to finish under six hours, but after completing it in five hours 45 minutes I rushed straight to the Royal Marsden hospital in Chelsea, London to give Dorian my medal.
I raised more than £1,200 that day and, overall, the cyclists that participated and raised money for The Anthony Nolan Trust secured £285,000.
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The Anthony Nolan Trust helped find a donor for Dorian and he’s now finished his treatment. I’m currently training for RideLondon 2017 and dreaming of breaking the sub-five hour landmark.
Find out how you can show support at anthonynolan.org
Lukas’ Top tips!
1. Take power naps
Reading cycling history you discover that perfecting the art of the power nap is a key to successful long rides.
2. Push yourself
Endurance cycling is about exceeding your limitations, getting to know what you really can do when you push your body.
3. Schemes help
Joining a Cycle to Work scheme has helped me fund new bike purchases.
4. Social media money maker
I crashed on the London to Brighton ride, going 50kph downhill. Because I’d filmed it all with my GoPro I managed to get 455 hits on Facebook and raised £500 that day thanks to the popularity of the clip.