In the wake of the Prudential RideLondon cycle event last week – 100 miles in and out of the capital via the Surrey Hills – I’m offering up a hellish post-watershed alternative to the children’s nursery rhyme ‘head, shoulders knees and toes’ entitled ‘head, shoulders knees and arse’. For that is the exact order of body parts hit by visitations of acute pain during the seven-hour challenge.

On Sunday 30th July, four beans – myself, Laura, Sam and Neil – took on the 100-mile course, flanked by 30,000 other riders and pushed on by thousands more who lined the car-free roads, cheering like loons. It was a surreal day offering up uninterrupted front row seat views of the Olympic Park, Canary Wharf and The Tower of London before the more sedate but twice as challenging terrain of Newlands Corner, Leith Hill, Box Hill and a triumphant sojourn through our home town of Leatherhead.

While the pain of feeling like you’ve been throttled like an unwanted rooster and kicked in the behind by an enraged shire horse soon subsided, the real reason we, and almost every other cyclist on the road, took part, was to support those for whom pain is an unavoidable daily occurrence.

The peloton (that’s what I’m calling it, you can’t stop me) was a beautiful, multi-coloured sea of inappropriately tight jerseys, each bearing the legend of a favoured charity. Our cause was no different – every penny of our £4,000 target will go towards furthering the work of DEBRA as Jellybean continues its proud patronage of the charity.

DEBRA supports people and their families affected by a rare and debilitating condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) which causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch. Truly the absolute worst condition you’ve never heard of, there are three main types of EB: EB Simplex (EBS), Dystrophic EB (DEB) and Junctional EB (JEB), each is defined by how deeply into the skin the blistering occurs. It can affect sufferers both externally and internally; causing a narrowing or blistering of the oesophagus, resulting in extreme discomfort and making even swallowing a challenge.

With medical research around EB in its twilight, a cure really could be within touching distance. That’s why we and DEBRA need your help. An extreme outpouring of generosity has left us just 36% adrift of our of £4,000 target. Thank you so very much to everyone that has contributed so far.

For those that haven’t, this is our challenge to you: please visit our JustGiving page and donate to the cause. All donations, no matter how big or small, are massively appreciated.

Thank you from the bottom of my ars…sorry, heart!

Keep reading! Why not read our blog on 100 Miles for DEBRA, Challenge Accepted!

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