Comedian Stephen swaps mic for bike ahead of Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

As staple part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and regular on the BBC, you may well know Brighton-based stand-up Stephen Grant for his comedy.

What you might not know, however, is that the 45-year-old has a passion for cycling and even hosts his own podcast on the subject.

Now the comic is giving up the day job – temporarily at least – to swap the mic for the bike and take on this weekend’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 as part of the Pru Peloton.

Prudential has challenged 50 people of mixed cycling ability to take on the 100-mile route in 2018, under the careful tutelage of current Tour de France leader Geraint Thomas.

Together the team are using the challenge to raise money for the event’s official charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital, with Grant desperate to put his hobby to good use on the roads of London.

“I just wanted to start getting fit really, so that’s what I did, that’s how cycling began for me,” he said.

“I wanted to go out there and just see what was going on around me, remembering how much I enjoyed it as a kid.

“I’ve got two young children, which makes it difficult to get out, but I’ve done it as much training as I can in the time in between.

“They’ve both been taught to cycle from a very early age. My eldest was able to cycle from three and my youngest was able to cycle from two with no stabilisers, nothing, so I started pretty early with them to be honest – they’re good at going, not good at stopping.

“The idea of closed roads is the thing that really appeals to me, so when I heard about that, that’s why I wanted to do it.

“It’s the closed roads, it is the fact that it’s London, it is the fact that it’s flat, then it’s really hilly, then it’s flat again so there’s a bit of everything, but I think more than anything it’s sense of occasion really.

“People know about it and they make an effort with it, and then when you tell people you’ve done it they’re really impressed and it’s something they’d all like to do, so it’s a bit of a showpiece.”

For Grant, this experience doesn’t come a moment too soon, due to ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 last year before injury ruled him out.

He has, however, experienced this challenge once before – eager to get back on the saddle for another go.

And whilst he isn’t approaching it with speed in mind, Grant isn’t ruling out a quicker time.

He won’t be alone on his trek either, with ‘The Cyclist Pod’ co-host and triathlete Raya Hubbell joining him on the start line – though he doesn’t expect to see much of his colleague throughout the race.

“The people I know who ride are mostly a lot better than me, so if I ride with them either I’m doing really well or they’re doing really badly. They’re all too quick,” he added.

“Raya is doing the RideLondon as well, so we’ll both set off at the same time and that’ll be the last time I see her.

“What I learned from last time was to do it not easily, but in your ability. If you’re not it can be quite a struggle, quite painful.

“You kind of need to be a bit fitter to do it, otherwise it’s tricky. My plan this year is to try and enjoy it more, but also to be a bit quicker.”

Stephen Grant is riding with Prudential and their Pru Peloton team, a group of mixed ability cyclists taking on Prudential RideLondon and fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Follow their journey at:

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