I’m probably as guilty as the next man of falling into the category; ‘all the gear, no idea.’ Nevertheless what I lack in knowledge of road biking I have in enthusiasm, and I don’t take myself too seriously!

I’ve always enjoyed riding; my dad was an incredible influence, commuting the 20-mile round trip to work by push-bike his whole working life, and it turns out I’m not that different. In 2015 I decided to sign up for the Prudential Ride 100, now in its third year.

So what is it that I love about road biking and why is important to raise money for Haven House?

The latter is easy to understand. Who couldn’t empathise with families who have undergone severe distress in discovering their child is unlikely to reach adulthood; and knowing that without places like Haven House there would be very little extra support.

I’ve seen first-hand the commendable services that our nurses and family support staff deliver and the joy this can bring to our children.

The former part of my question is not so easy to explain. For many cycling is about the competition, adrenalin and speed. For some it’s about the equipment, and the fixing and tinkering; these people I consider the practical types.

For me it’s much more about the journey. I love discovering new towns and villages, not to mention the beautiful undulating countryside we are blessed with in the UK. This cannot be bought in the supermarket or felt by sitting in front of the TV. Without pushing yourself out of your comfort zone you are likely to lead a less fulfilled life.

Living in East London doesn’t always open up a great deal of opportunities for road biking.

I have done a bit of training around the inner circle of Regents Park which I have to admit is quite fun; jostling for position and joining up on the back of pelotons with strangers. But come the weekend you have to get out to the surrounding counties to get some real miles under your belt. It can even be surprisingly sociable, coming together with friends using our Garmins to hone in on a nearby city and just going for the adventure, and of course the refreshing pint to end the day.

Admittedly I didn’t do as much training for Ride100 as I’d hoped, but the day itself was something I will always cherish.

I urge anyone who has even the slightest bit of interest in biking to take part in an organised cycle event.

The highlight for me was speeding down the A12 (the entire route is closed off to traffic), ducking and diving through huge underpasses, feeling like I was in some sort of simulator game. It was an unreal experience.

I was also particularly moved by the level of support from members of the public and volunteers representing all manner of charities, even at the most ungodly of hours.

I was quite amused to hear that my friend had stopped in a small village in Surrey to eat a Victoria Sponge cake provided by the local WI group, and not being able to finish it he popped it into his back pocket for safe keeping!

Has Rob's story inspired you to take on a challenge for Haven House? Visit our challenge event pages to find the right event for you