Rider Profile: Dr Emma Egging
Dr Emma Egging is CEO of the Jon Egging Trust. As she points out below, she was a runner rather than a cyclist. But this inspirational and determined woman took up an incredible challenge in August 2011; to ride 400 miles in 4 days alongside the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Below she describes her cycling journey.
‘Before 2011 I had never laid hands on a road bike. I had of course owned a push bike as a kid and a mountain bike as a teenager but I had not attempted more than a 20 mile bike ride in a day up to that point. I had, however, watched my husband Jon’s enthusiasm as he and the rest of the Red Arrows (he was flying as Red 4 in the famous team at the time) took on the challenge of training for a 400 mile in 4 days coast to coast ride they were due to do with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at the end of the 2011 flying display season, to raise money for a number of charities. Jon loved road cycling and he loved a challenge and he would look forward to getting out on his bike as often as he could.
When Jon died in a flying accident after a display at Bournemouth in August 2011, just 6 weeks before the 400 in 4 ride, I was determined to take his place. A keen runner, I knew I had the base fitness to be able to do it, and over the 6 weeks I had left to familiarise myself with a road bike, I trained as often as I could manage. Cycling 100 miles a day for 4 days was the toughest challenge I had taken on at that point, but Jon’s colleagues in the Reds were with me at every turn of the wheel and some lifelong friendships, not least with Dunc, the event organiser, were made on that trip.
The following year Dunc had another crazy idea; to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 11 days, covering over 1000 miles. I immediately took him up on the challenge, and we completed the ride with a team of 6 despite pouring rain, mechanical problems and very sore legs! The year after that we took to mountain bikes to cycle the Wainwright Way, an off road route from coast to coast over the Lake District, then Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors. I took an advanced mountain bike course to ensure I could at least try and keep up with the 3 ex Red Arrows who I was cycling with. This last challenge remains the toughest that I have ever taken on – 49hrs to cover 192 miles – mostly uphill!
All these challenges have not only tested me to my limits but importantly they have raised thousands of pounds for the Jon Egging Trust and helped raise awareness of the important work we do supporting young people across the UK to be the best they can be.
With the JET Ride you too can push yourself to do something great for yourself and for the Jon Egging Trust; a charity focused on ensuring that no young person is overlooked when it comes to opportunity. Please sign up and come and join us #dosomethinggreat’