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      Mountain biker fan Barry cycled in the Ride London event

      Barry is from Weston in Staffordshire. He is the audiologist and clinic manager at the Hanley clinic in Stoke on Trent for Amplifon UK.

      By: Barry | 30 July 2018

      I have been a fan of mountain biking for a few years, there are some trails near me at Cannock Chase that I use for downtime outside of work, and they are great. So when I saw there was an opportunity to ride with some colleagues in the Ride London event in July for AOHL I thought this was an excellent idea. I emailed Karen our sales and operations director and said ‘yes count me in’.

      So as the day nears it has been great to try and get in shape for what is actually quite a challenge. I have been riding into work when on one of my bikes, depending on what route I take that could be up to a 40 mile round trip. The weather is starting to be just awesome early in the mornings and I get to work set up and ready to go for the day ahead which is good.

      While I was training I did learn a new phrase that I haven’t come across before and that is ‘SMIDSY’ which is an acronym for ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’. Which is word for word what the driver of a vehicle said when he knocked me off my bike on the way to work one morning at a junction. Apparently SMIDSY is quite a well known acronym is the cycling community and now I am in the club- I have been smidsy’d

      After I had bounced off the bonnet of the car and flew across the road I said ‘how could you not see me- I’ve got a flashing light and a bright orange jacket on?’ Pretty logical question I thought and he said ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’. Anyhow in the end the bike was written off (it was only 3 months old) and the drivers insurance company paid for a new one, my broken ribs got better and I’m back on the bike riding to work and training when I can. So no great shakes in the long term. When I said to the driver I wasn’t going to put in an personal injuries  compensation claim against him he was flabbergasted, I told him it wasn’t my style to do that and accidents happen, he didn’t mean to hit me and hopefully it has taught us both a valuable lesson. He asked for the details of how to make a donation and so he has donated online too which is great....  I will go to great lengths to get donations!

      It taught me a few valuable lessons and from now on I will check and double check that drivers have seen me even when you would assume it is just blatantly obvious that they should see you. Accidents will always happen and it is just about reducing the risk. As for the training I’m no professional cyclist but spurred on by fundraising for AOHL I have ridden over 2000 miles this year so far. It has been harder than I thought putting the miles in on the road as opposed to off road mountain biking, but it has been an enjoyable journey and as well as the direct good that will come out of it with the fundraising for AOHL there are other benefits. Obviously you do get fitter doing all that cycling and this freshness and energy can be transferred into the day to day activities when I am helping clients to hear better and experience all the emotions of sound in the clinic and then in their own lives.

      So there are many positive outcomes to signing up for the event, I’m sure all my other colleagues would agree and we are all looking forward to the Ride London event.

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