Team EdinburghAlan GilroyThe Rickshaw Challenge was my inspiration to signing up.Hi, I’m Alan Gilroy and the ripe old age of 45, married with a wonderful daughter and live just outside Dunfermline in Fife. I have always tried to get involved in the charity events at Lloyds Banking Group (especially the dress up days which seem to be my forte). The main inspiration for signing up to the Tour de Pudsey was I remembered watching the Rickshaw Challenge for last year’s BBC Children In Need appeal and being moved by the determination shown by those young people. I got back into cycling six years ago to complete the Glasgow to Edinburgh ride for Maggie’s along with some friends and I now try to get out on my bike as often as possible. My fundraising total to date is over £2,000 through online donations and activities including car washing, quizzes and bake sales. As the date for the ride is getting closer I am hoping for a further increase in donations from all who have been supporting me throughout my training.Since April I have covered 3,226km, spent 147 hours in the saddle and climbed 25,252m (that’s over 2.5x the height of Mount Everest!). I have also lost 2 stone in weight (56 packs of butter!). Although I have had some hard days, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will continue cycling in the future.My hardest physical ride to date has been Bealach-na-Ba, Applecross in the Highlands. This ride was voted by The Guardian as the Holy Grail and toughest cycle climb in Britain. This was a 7½ hour slog of near vertical proportions but this was tempered by the beautiful scenery and immense sense of satisfaction upon completion.My hardest mental ride was getting back on my bike after my cycle buddy had been knocked off his bike whilst I was on holiday – normally I would have been alongside him. He has fractured his spine in two places and will take at least six months to recover. This reinforced the dangers I am facing every time I sit in the saddle but the knowledge that I am helping such a great cause and with the continuing support of my injured friend will make it all worthwhile.