Riding For The Trust – Dipak Pankhania
2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the hugely popular RideLondon event, which was established by the Mayor of London in 2013 as an Olympic legacy event from the 2012 London Games. With less than two months to go we spoke to Dipak Pankhania who has challenged himself to take on the ride before turning 50 next year.
Hi Dipak, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Dipak, married for 20 years to Anjla (who encouraged me to sign up this year) and have two lovely boys Kai 6 and Zack 11. We live in Ealing, and are all Brentford fans. As season ticket holders, we love going to the games and the boys especially do nothing but talk and chant about the team all the time.
What inspired you to take part in RideLondon on behalf of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust?
Inspiration for taking part in the ride this year has been driven by two things. Firstly, I’ve done no real exercise for over two years mainly due to a hectic work life balance, but more so due to not having goal to work towards, which the ride gives me. Secondly I’m turning 50 next year and feel I need to put my health as a priority, and also be ready to party the half century, whilst feeling physically great.
Have you done any long-distance cycling challenges before? If so what event?
This time round will be my 5th long distance ride. In my late 30s I did the London to Brighton, with no major training, then the following year I did the RideLondon 100 ride through Surrey. I did train for that one and completed it in under seven hours after many stops during the day. In my early 40s and mid-40s, I did the RideLondon 100 again, both times improving on the last, six hours with one stop and five and a half hours non-stop. This time I’m looking to improve, but have to admit that the training feels much harder than ever. Sub five and a half hours would be a personal best, but I’ll be happy sub six hours.
What are you most looking forward to on the day?
The thing I’m looking forward to is the atmosphere of the day in general. The training is hard, but on the day itself, you really don’t feel like it’s that hard, because of the other riders and crowds cheering you on. In addition to this it will be good to see what the Essex route is like, because I’ve only ever done the Surrey route.
Do you have any family, friends, or a group you go out cycling with?
I’m a solo cyclist, I love putting my headphones on and getting focused on the ride without distractions. I’ve always been like when cycling.
What are your top tips for other people who are thinking about taking on a similar challenge?
Top tip to getting ready. Remember it’s not a race, it’s an endurance ride, so your training program should focus on that and on the day itself. My training will have me do Sunday rides going from 10 miles all when way up to 80 miles in increments of 5-10 miles over 12 weeks. Also it’s possible to do the ride nonstop, if you get your hydration and carb supplements routine right.
What message do you have for people who are supporting you by donating?
I want to thank all those that have supported me for the ride, not only this year but previous years too. Words alone cannot put across how thankful I am for the support that you have all given and your donations have gone to help many people in need with the help of some amazing charities. This year your support will be helping Brentford Community Trust help those in need in the local community through sport. Thank you again.
And finally, what’s the first thing you’re going to do after RideLondon?
Keep fit and keep on cycling, it’s too easy to just stop training, which is what I did last time, then getting back into training again is like climbing a mountain. Oh!! and maybe I’ll sign up again for next year!
To follow Dipak’s journey and to support him with any donations, please click here.