David Ward, 64, is a retired Chartered Surveyor, from Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. He has taken part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain every year since it started.
Here he talks about what what he loves about Deloitte RAB – including his proudest moment, finishing the Ride with his Son.
The first time…
“I retired early at the age of 55 and for two years worked part time as a consultant. I had grown to hate my job and therefore didn’t miss it, but retirement creates a big void and I needed something to do.
For some reason, the John O’Groats to Land’s End journey held some significance for me. I remember at the age of eight following Dr Barbara Moore who walked it in 23 days and, latterly, the cricketer, Ian Botham, who walked it for charity. Therefore, when I saw the article in the Daily Telegraph, I almost instinctively knew that the Deloitte Ride Across Britain would provide the ideal soft landing into retirement.
The love of Deloitte RAB…
I really don’t know why I keep coming back. Every time I’ve finished the Ride, I’ve seriously vowed never to do it again, yet three months later I’ve signed up for another year.
My favourite moment was in 2013, when my son Matthew rode as part of the Dulux team. He cycles much faster than me, so we didn’t ride together for the first 959 miles. We did however cycle the last mile together and my proudest photograph is of the two of us riding over the finish line at Land’s End with our hands held aloft.
I really don’t think I enjoy the experience. Despite avoiding any serious physical problems or traumas, it is very hard work. Of course the truth is that to love something, you need accept and understand the associated adversity.
The reasons for returning to the Ride…
For me, the Ride provides far more beyond the nine days – a purpose for the whole year, a reason to ride and to train, a reason to upgrade bikes and clothes, a reason to look at others in the supermarket or pub and know I’ve achieved something they haven’t.
I wouldn’t keep coming back if I didn’t have complete faith in the organisation of the Ride. It is flawless. The food, the showers, the massage, the medical treatment, the bike maintenance, the list goes on and on – Threshold have it nailed.
My daughter bought her first road bike not long ago and we’ve been cycling together. I’m hoping that I can persuade her to do Deloitte Ride Across Britain too!”