John Good has gone beyond the call of duty for the Straumann Charity Bike Ride – he’s actually gone ahead and built his own bike – fondly known as Driller!
I’ve always loved to cycle. As a kid it was the only way to get around and it’s now become my main means of getting to and from work across London. I spend the day staring down microscopic loupes so at the end of a day it’s good to get out and have a blast on the bike to clear my head before getting home.
A few years ago a dentist friend of mine called me and asked if I fancied cycling in Italy. We headed off to Lake Garda, hired bikes and almost killed ourselves cycling up and down the massive hills. But that trip got me hooked and I haven’t looked back.
I even ventured into track cycling, racing around velodromes, that I loved. However, I managed to shatter my shoulder twice (I still have nine screws and a metal bar in my left shoulder) and decided maybe this was just a little too much excitement, so I abandoned track cycling and joined a local road cycling club. Now I cycle 100-150K every Saturday morning and attend cycling events throughout the year both at home and abroad.
I took part in the first Straumann bike ride back in 2013 and it was brilliant fun. It wasn’t just about the racing (though there was plenty of competition), it was about getting all of us, the experienced and less experienced riders, back from Berne to Gatwick in one piece, which we did manage to achieve.
For this year’s ride I am riding a bike, fondly known as Driller, that I have built from scratch. I went on a bike frame building course and welded the bike together myself, had the frame custom painted, and as a present from my wife had my saddle covered by an artisan leather maker (as the photos show) to my own rather unusual design.
I’ve been testing the bike to ensure it doesn’t fall apart on me and have already completed a 200K race on it, so I’m feeling fairly confident it will survive the challenge. I’m really looking forward to the ride, largely because of the great people who are going to be on it and the sense of camaraderie that it brings. I’m not worried about the distance or the hill climbs as I’m pretty used to that, but the challenge, just as on the first bike ride, is to help the other riders achieve their goal and to raise plenty of money for Bridge2Aid.
I also know after five continuous days of long distance cycling, no matter how fit I think I am, I’m still going to be tired and sore in all sorts of places, but it will be straight back to work for me the next day.
If you would like to make a donation please visit the Straumann Charity Bike Ride JustGiving Page
Article No. 151
For other people’s stories in the lead up to the Straumann Charity Bike Ride: