Richard’s wife, Lorely Burt – the Baroness Burt of Solihull, has shared her personal insight into her husband’s challenge for Dementia UK. Read today:
“Men in Lycra sometimes get a bad press - often being referred to as MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra, just in case you didn't know)
Personally, I don't mind following muscular blokes in figure-hugging gear in my car, though it has to be said Lycra is not kind to the paunch.
Anyway, Richard doesn't have that problem - he trains so hard he doesn't have an ounce of fat on him. And I do mean training hard - often training for most of the day.
I think to attempt such an incredible challenge as the 100 greatest cycling climbs in 12 successive days, you have to be an obsessive, or plain nuts. Or maybe both.
I've nicknamed Richard's best bike Betsy: he lavishes so much attention on her I reckon she deserves a name.
Betsy is far too precious to be housed in the garage, so he carries her up to the spare bedroom every night to make sure she's safe from marauding cycle bandits. Yep: Betsy's got her own bedroom.
Now some wives might think this is going a bit far. I just look on what I see as Richard's eccentricities with amusement. And it has to be said I'm not without the odd small foible myself - so we're well matched.
And he's doing this for the best of causes - to help carers of people living with dementia to cope and help their loved ones more effectively. Dementia UK isn't one of the big charities, but the work it does with its amazing Admiral Nurses is incredible.
It's ironic that Richard cared for his mum Peggy for years before he discovered Dementia UK. Years of great struggle to help her stay independent for as long as possible.
The journey of caring for a loved one, watching them get worse, coping with the uncertainties of whether and when to bring in care or help them find a home where they can be safe, cared for with compassion and treated with dignity is one which no one should have to face alone.
So if you've read all the way down to this bit, do please consider making a donation to Dementia UK. The link is below.
And as for me, I'd just like him back in one piece at the end.”