Eddie Allen (Support Crew)

I’m Eddie and I’m Tom’s dad. It’s possibly my fault Tom is doing this. From a very early age (barely off stabilisers) Tom, his twin brother Sam and I would explore Liverpool on bikes. We’d ride everywhere, on and off road, in all weather. And it wasn’t long before those local rides became long sportives, mountain bike adventures and racing.

I’ve been a cyclist all my life for transport, for pleasure, for sanity. I bike to work whenever I can and I’m a certifiable bike tinkerer.

For me bikes turned from a pastime to a job when I got a part-time job as a bike mechanic in Liverpool, where I got a name for myself for being able to fix the sorriest of cycles. Bikes followed me through my career. I worked for British Cycling for 12 years, from 2004 to 2016, first in club development and then in the marketing and communications department. There I managed a leisure cycling website which saw the governing body move from a solely sporting body to a more holistic organisation. From there I went on to be an event reporter and copy writer focussing on the Great Britain Cycling Team, following the team to numerous world championships and world cups on the road, track and dirt.

Leaving cycling didn’t mean leaving cycling. Now my riding has gone full circle. Back to riding for pleasure and for transport.

What do I hope to bring to the support team? In supporting Tom and James on RAAM, I hope to be able to bring a lot of these experiences together – understanding what athletes go through when they’re under immense pressure. appreciating that following a race isn’t glamorous. It’s about making up bottles, feeding the washing machine and being there when your riders need you there the most. It’s about being able to keep the wheels turning and fixing things when they fall apart. More than anything else, I’m looking forward to witnessing first hand one of the hardest things a person can do in any sort. It will be a privilege and I hope I can play my small part in making it happen and helping Tom and James raise money for a fantastic cause.

If you want to read more about Eddie’s on bike adventures, check out his blog (it’s actually pretty good). www.theeverydaycyclist.wordpress.com