Meet RNC’s Team PrudentialRideLondon 2020

Chris on the tandem out on the road with pilot Mark

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) has three cyclists competing in PrudentialRideLondon 2020. However, this year’s event has had to adapt due to the pandemic, and rather than being a tour around London, it is now being cycled across the country from competitors’ home locations. RideLondon happens this weekend 15-16 August and our three cyclists will ride 192 miles combined for the charity.

Our intrepid trio of cyclists will be raising much needed funds for the College as the lockdown has led to substantial increases in the charity’s costs in bringing back the students safely onto campus in September.

RNC student Chris Wilkins is 20 years old and was registered blind in 2018. He was a keen cyclist before he lost his sight, regularly competing across the UK and is determined to keep up his training, albeit in an adapted format. Chris undertakes his road cycling on a tandem bike, with pilot, Mark Palliser, although his dad stepped in during lockdown. He uses his trusted static turbo trainer for daily fitness at home in Bedfordshire. 

Chris looking forward and smiling and is wearing a Spot-On Coaching cycling vest
Chris wearing a Spot-on Coaching cycling vest

Chris has also been supported by Jonty Williams from Spot-on Coaching based in Hereford. He trains with Jonty when at College and Jonty has continued to help and advise Chris throughout lockdown.

‘I am focusing on gaining qualification to the Paralympics,’ explains Chris. ‘My training has been strong and productive during lockdown and I have maintained my level of fitness which I’m pleased about.’ 

Chris is going for the 100-mile challenge and will be racing against the clock on his turbo trainer which is linked to Strava and will keep him on track with his timings/distance as well as verify his results for the organisers. 

‘I want to give something back to the College who have really helped me rehabilitate and re-learn the skills that I had prior to losing my eyesight.’

Sheila Tallon was the Principal of RNC until she retired in 2015 which she admits was ‘quite a wrench’ and now enjoys cycling with husband Bill in Worcestershire and Herefordshire as well as the mountains of the Costa Blanca in Spain. Sheila is a member of Worcestershire Women on Wheels (WOW for short!) which she describes as a ‘wonderful, inclusive and friendly cycling club’. Bill has just bought their 3-year-old granddaughter her first bike and she has completed her first 3-miler so it’s a real family affair! Our dynamic duo will be cycling the 46-mile challenge from their home in Worcestershire this weekend but they’re waiting to see which will be the better day as the weather forecast is threatening thunder storms!

Former RNC Principal, Sheila Tallon, with her husband Bill, stopping off for a selfie whilst cycling on the mountains in Spain

 

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