Adoptive dad completes cycle challenge despite being knocked off bike

Published: 06.08.15

An adoptive father completed a gruelling 100-mile cycling challenge despite dislocating his shoulder just weeks before the event.
Adoptive dad completes cycle challenge despite being knocked off bike

Alex Parry-Jones was determined to complete the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 within six hours having shed 15 kilos after giving up alcohol for two months and cycling a 24-mile roundtrip to-and-from work.

But as Alex was riding home after work one evening, a taxi driver accidently opened his cab's door, directly in front of him. Alex, who had no time to avoid a collision, was sent hurtling into central London's rush-hour traffic but amazingly escaped with nothing more serious than a partially dislocated shoulder.

The 38-year-old from South East London said: "My training was going really well until I was knocked off my bike about 12 weeks before the challenge. The cabbie was very apologetic and insisted on taking me home. I was in some pain but after a bit of manipulation, my wife popped my shoulder back in for me."
Despite his set back, Alex, resplendent in his distinctive orange-coloured Adoption UK vest, was still able to complete the cycle challenge on our behalf on Sunday 2nd August.

The annual ride starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in East London, then follows a route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey's countryside which includes leg-testing climbs made famous by the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins at the London 2012 Olympics. The route finishes on The Mall in central London.

Prior to the ride, the chartered surveyor had worked out he would have to travel at an average speed of about 17mph to finish within six hours. To put that into context, the average vehicle speed through London is 19mph.

Unfortunately for Alex he was unable to reach his target but he finished in a very respectable time of six hours and 44 minutes and has so far raised almost £700 for Adoption UK.

Alex explained: "The biggest challenge of the route was Leith Hill, the steepest hill in Surrey, near Dorking. I've previously ridden this hill on three occasions but this was the first time it has beaten me. It was unnerving because of the sheer volume of people - many of who are not regular cyclists – so I dismounted and walked for about 500 meters before getting back on to my bike which added time on to my race.

"It was also 25C, so it was a hot day which didn't help as I'm a big bloke. I was thoroughly exhausted the following day but it was jolly enjoyable and the support was great all of the way around so I'll be taking part in the challenge again next year."

Alex, an adoptive father to a five-year old boy, decided to undertake the challenge to help raise the profile of Adoption UK and to raise awareness of what it means to be an adoptive parent.

"Our son has now been with us for three years," Alex said, "it's been challenging, and at times exhausting. Hand-on-heart...would I go through the process now, knowing what I do? Yes, I couldn't imagine life without my son."

Alex's challenge has raised £680 for Adoption UK so far. If you would like to donate, you can do so by visiting Alex's Just Giving page.

There is a range of events across the UK that you could sign up for with a summary you can read here. Call the Fundraising Team on 01295 752260 for more information.