Today marks the launch of our Palace to Palace 2016 cycle ride. We were keen to find out what our riders love the most about Palace to Palace, so we caught up with past-rider Patrick Greenfield RVM.

Palace to Palace is our annual cycling event with an iconic route and festival finish. Riders can take in the sights of Buckingham Palace, before cycling through Richmond Park and the beautiful Surrey countryside towards the finish line alongside Windsor Castle. Riders can choose between two routes, a 45 mile 'classic' or a 90 mile 'ultra' route. 

1. Patrick, you’ve been a Prince's Trust employee for 29 years now, what was your motivation for doing Palace to Palace in 2015?

I had never done this particular event and have enjoyed cycling for a long time so thought why not? Plus, The Trust does such amazing work, so doing a challenge for a worthy cause gives you all the motivation you need.

2. Cycling is your favourite hobby. Why is this?

It allows me to eat and drink whatever I choose and as much as I like without having to worry about the calories involved. I also enjoy being outside in the fresh air after a day’s work.

3. What are your three top tips for cycling?

Always bring a puncture repair kit.

No matter what the distance, take along a pump and a spare inner tube.

Always replenish your energy.

Take along water and an energy bar or banana when you're heading off on a long-distance cycle. 

Breakfast is key.

Just as your car needs petrol to run, you need energy to cycle - so don't leave the house without a big breakfast! I would have porridge with a banana, sultanas and maple syrup followed by scrambled eggs and a slice of wholemeal toast with jam.

4. What advice would you give a beginner?

Start on very short cycle rides, increasing as you improve. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build up stamina, if you’re consistent with your rides.

5. Which route did you do (classic or ultra)?

Classic – 45 miles

6. How did you prepare for the ride?

I already cycle to and from work together with training rides on the weekend, so I didn’t need to do anything else additional.

7. How many miles a week do you roughly cycle?

230 miles, each and every week.

8. Where is your favourite place to cycle?

Essex – my hometown!

9. How did you feel after the ride?

I felt so good that I cycled all the way back home from the event.

10. How was it cycling down the Mall?

It was a great feeling, with an awesome view.

11. What was your favourite part of the day?

Listening to the announcement and the cheers as I cycled over the finishing line, it was such a buzz.

12. Sum up your experience in three words

Unbelievable, amazing, awesome.

13. If you could spend a day cycling with any celebrity who would it be and why?

Sir Bradley Wiggins because I believe I could learn a lot more from him and his experiences. He’s been so successful and helped raise the profile of cycling.

14. Any words of wisdom for those thinking of taking part in Palace to Palace this year?

It is a great event to take part in knowing the funds raised will go towards helping disadvantaged young people. Plus if you’re already a keen cyclist, events like this give you a chance to push yourself even more. What have you got to lose?

15. Finally, the most important question Patrick, will you be participating in Palace to Palace 2016?

Yes, definitely - I'll be signing up straight away! I got such a buzz from the event last year, that I've decided to challenge myself this year and take on the 90-mile 'ultra' route! 

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