Before Ayo's upcoming charity cycle from London to Brighton on September 11th, I caught up with him to find out about his first charity cycle to Brighton for Prostate Cancer Research back in July. I found out what the experience was like, how he prepared for it, why this was such a worthy cause and what this journey meant to him.

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Why did you choose to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer Research?

'I chose this cause as it needs constant awareness. It can affect all men above a certain age, and there is always a stigma attached to getting checked out. Thinking about it is horrible, but a simple check and early detection can prevent many problems that emerge if it gets to a point where it’s too late for treatment. This is clearly something that could affect me and millions of others, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and money for more research that could potentially lead to a cure. With all that, that is why I chose to get on my bike and cycle in aid of Prostate Cancer research.'

How did you prepare for such a task?

'Regarding prep for the cycle, I started about a month out. I cycle to work most days, which is 10k there and 10k back – which is good training in itself. I also spent a lot of time in the gym on the spinning bike, starting with 30-minute sessions and slowly making my way up in terms of time and difficulty (or the resistance, to be specific). I ensured that I had the bike that would be perfect for me, as the bike I had at the time wasn't ideal for the ride. So, I bought a road bike that was a lot lighter and fit for purpose. Brand new too, so I wouldn't have to worry about any old parts letting me down. My training was tough to begin with – especially as I was training for an endurance event. But as I continued to train, I noticed that the time it took me to reach certain distances would fall significantly. Seeing that progress and realising you can do things you couldn't do before is the best motivator you can have.

What was your experience during the journey?

'As the journey began, seeing what people chose as their bikes for the day was fascinating. I had been prepping for this event with my road bike, which is the most sensible choice for such a thing. However, this wasn't the case for all riders. I witnessed riders on single-speed bikes, mountain bikes, small bikes and even a tandem bike, ridden by a couple. People on expensive bikes that wouldn't look out of place in the Tour de France. Elderly riders and even kids, although thankfully, none on child-size tricycles, as they'd still be making their way to Brighton now. All jokes aside, it was genuinely entertaining and inspiring to see so many people from all walks of life involved, representing causes that mattered to them. Regardless of how in-shape they were, they all were doing an incredible thing, and I was so grateful to be part of it.'

Did you experience any issues during the ride?

'It wasn't all plain sailing, and I did have one significant incident – about 40 minutes into the cycle. Whilst we were still in London, some of the packs of riders were quite close together. As I approached the rear of a pack, they unexpectedly and suddenly stopped! Breaking hard to avoid a collision, I tumbled over the handlebar and crashed onto the floor. Thankfully, the fall wasn't serious, and all I had were some scrapes on my legs and arms. My bike was fine too, and despite feeling some pain in my legs for the next few minutes, I wasn't going to allow this to derail the journey. I literally and metaphorically got back on my bike and continued to cycle! Thankfully, the concrete was the hardest part of the day.'

How do you feel now that you've completed this amazing journey?

'When it was all said and done, the group of people that I cycled with (as we collectively cycled as a group) raised over £19,000 for charity. I'm genuinely proud of completing the cycle to Brighton. Not just because I made it to the finish line but because of all the prep that went into it and the money it generated for Prostate Cancer Research. As men, we must put our health at the forefront and do our best to look after ourselves. And if we notice something is wrong, to seek help. Hopefully, through the money raised, we can be one step closer to a breakthrough in treatment. I'm so happy I took part and can't wait to do another cycle to Brighton on behalf of St George's Hospital Charity!'

Be sure to follow the link below to donate. All donations made to Ayo’s cause will be matched by LanguageLine.

Donate here