As if the prospect of cycling 100 miles was not a tough enough proposition, Duncan Thomas also contended with the effects of a tropical hurricane when he completed the challenge at the weekend.
The 53-year-old from Trinity Link in Haverhill arrived in London last Sunday (10) to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, with the aim of raising money for the charity Children with Cancer.
Despite the wind and rain produced by the dying embers of Hurricane Bertha, the event went ahead and saw Duncan get round in four hours and 22 minutes, raising about £1,000 for the charity.
The day was not as it should have been however, as Duncan explained: “I didn’t know this obviously, it wasn’t until I watched the telly that I knew they had contemplated cancelling it because of the weather.
“But when we got there in the morning they had taken the hills out and made the course 14 miles shorter.
“The two steepest hills, they took those out and re-routed it around them. It was disappointing because people had gone just to say they had climbed those hills.
“It was a bit of a anti climax for a lot of the riders that I talked to.
“One, because they took the hills out and two because it was not 100 miles any more.”
With so much rain having fallen, said Duncan, the safety issue was not ascending the hills but going down them on slicker surfaces.
Whatever the difficulties on the day were, Duncan still enjoyed the event, as he explained: “The weather was horrendous. The rain was torrential.
“Some of the roads into London were flooded. There was a couple of places where the water was over the pedals, it was that deep.
“Other than that it was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed it and the amount of bikes there was incredible. It was an incredible sort of day.”
Far from being put off, Duncan now hopes to participate in the event every year, and aims to raise money in future for a local charity.
He also offered a special thanks to everyone at IFF, for whom he is a production worker at the Haverhill site.
Having emailed everyone in the company, he added, he received donations from IFF employees in places like Australia, the US, Singapore and Japan.