FORMER R Paul Parker put his body on the line over the weekend, as he cycled 146 miles from London to Amsterdam in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
In the worst conditions that the annual event has seen since its inception eight years ago, Parker and 250 other football fans made their way from London to Harwich on Friday before cycling from the Dutch coast to the capital on Saturday.
Parker’s Friday was certainly incident packed. As well as having to brave the cold and wet weather, he had to overcome a puncture, a couple of falls and a broken bike.
Supporters can still donate to his JustGiving page by clicking HERE and after crossing the finish line he said that he was delighted to have completed the challenge.
“The fulfilment you get out of doing the ride is great,” the 55-year-old said. “What this means [raising money for Prostate Cancer UK] and what it can mean to other people is so important.
“The first few miles in the UK were very difficult and strenuous. When we got to Holland, it was a bit flatter but it was very windy and probably a bit dangerous at times.
“The second day was more enjoyable, though, because some of the roads you come down are alongside the canals and are picturesque.”
The weekend event was the first time that Parker has ever taken part in something like this.
He said: “My body could have been rented out as an ironing board after the first day – it was that stiff! Everything was hurting.
“I’ve already been asked if I’d like to do it again next year. I’ve said ‘give me six months’ because I need to recover first and if I am, then I need to do a bit more work next time.
“One thing I will say is I’d like to see more black men doing this. One in four black men will get prostate cancer, so it would be great to see some more black men doing the ride and raising awareness for the charity.”