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Tiger Tales: Ride Updates

The Official Launch Of The Tigers Ride To Recovery

August 3, 2015
August 3, 2015

3000 miles. 14 days. The Countdown is on for the toughest of cycling endurance events

Last week we officially launched the Tigers Ride To Recovery, #tigersr2r. One of the world’s toughest cycling endurance events, this challenge will see the team cycle 3000miles, climb over 170,000 feet in a 24/7 relay. The official launch was an all-out 24h cycle challenge at Canary Wharf

The 24h cycle challenge – 30th/ 31st July

Reebok Sports Club , one of the largest in Europe, were on hand to help us with the event.  They took the #Tigersr2r team through their paces in a series of group spin sessions. Resplendent in the official team kit, thanks to Primal Europe, helmets/ glasses donated by Salice, and with the back-drop of Reuters Plaza we couldn’t help but draw a crowd.

Throughout the event, the Tigers Ride to Recovery team took it in turns ‘pedalling for the pounds’ and wheels were spinning for the duration of the 24h launch.

Canary Wharf Management joined us in this challenge and took part in a static hand-cycle competition. Split into two teams they competed with each other to see who could cover the furthest distance. Jay Baldwin led proceedings and offered an insight into the personal challenges he will face as part of the #tigersr2r team when they set off across America.

Jay Baldwin and the Ride for Recovery Team

Taking part in the Ride To Recovery using a specially adapted hand-cycle, generously donated by Help For Heroes, Jay has been in training over the past five months. He is regularly out on the road with Brian Wood MC and together they cover up to 25 miles at a time in order to reach the required fitness levels that will see him travel almost 300 miles a day with the rest of the team.  See him in action here.

The Friends of the PWRR- Raising funds to support our Regiment

The Ride To Recovery has been set up as a means to raise awareness and funds for the Regiment ensuring that we are able to provide on-going support on a variety of levels.

We regularly offer guidance and support to those transitioning from Army to Civilian life and are on hand to support soldiers and their families during times of hardship or distress.

Many British Army personnel have been injured whilst serving and we have those amongst us who are displaying signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   This is the biggest mental health disorder faced by UK veterans and organisations such as Combat Stress, are working with almost 6,000 veterans ages 19 – 97 at any given time.

The Friends work tirelessly to ensure members of the Regiment, past and present have access to the most appropriate care and advice and it is through fundraising efforts such as the Ride To Recovery we are able to do this.

Thanks to the support of Canary Wharf Management and Reebok Sports Club we were able to launch #Tigersr2r and raise over £10,000 in the process.

Incredible outpourings of generosity from the public and tireless hard work from members of the team resulted in a great event.

Despite some sore muscles we left with smiles on our faces and pounds in the bucket, ensuring that we can continue the good work!



The Tigers Ride To Recovery Team

May 7, 2015
May 7, 2015

On the 7th September the Friends of the PWRR undertake their most demanding team fundraising challenge to date. Travelling from the East to West coast of America they will maintain a continuous relay, cycling in tandem for up to 300 miles a day.

Over the course of the event they will pass through 12 states and 88 counties, starting in Annapolis and ending the journey at Santa Monica Pier. They will endure over 170,000 feet of climbs and face head winds of up to 60 Miles per hour as they cross the Kansas Plains.

In short, this is one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world. There is no other event that matches the distance, terrain or the weather. It is a true test of team spirit.

The Tigers Ride To Recovery team is made up from members of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment past and present, as well as those from our extended military family and supporters.

Jay Baldwin will be joining us as we undertake this challenge in order to replenish the funds used earlier in the year to fund his Osseointegration surgery.

He will complete the ride on a specially modified tandem hand-bike, which, together with the other tandem frames, has been generously donated by the team at Mammoth Lifestyle & Fitness.

All rider profiles can be found here and you can follow us on twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with progress as they train for this event.

Riders have been given the full support of their employers and families in order for them to take the two weeks needed to take part in the event. To that end we’d like to extend a thank you to everyone who is making this possible as well as Canary Wharf Group and Convergent Risks, who give us on-going support and encouragement.

We are aiming to raise in excess of £200,000 through Just Giving fundraising efforts, and we will be running a number of high profile events to raise awareness of this project. For now, please show your support for this fantastic event and those people who are undertaking it: meet the team.

Training photographs ©Gustavo del Castillo 2015


Post osseointegration surgery update!

February 25, 2015
February 25, 2015


Finally the surgery is over and done with, but not something I was expecting, that goes for the whole day!

After arriving on the 16th I was sent for a number of tests and scans, which were on the ball. No waiting around in and out, as quickly as that! Come the 18th I was due to be at the hospital by 1200 (midday) for surgery starting at 1430… In that time gap I had some media commitments to deal with then straight to theatre… Negative GhostRider!! I was delayed until 1730, you can imaging after fasting for that amount of time I was struggling. I really was hungry, I need a drink, I just wanted to pig out! Of course I was in a bad mood, being moved from room to room, people telling me different things apart from any of the team that I previously spoken to before. As with the military where we don’t really take on second/third or even fourth hand information on board it just left me a little grumpy.

Finally Shona who has been dealing with the whole coordination popped up, all dressed for theatre and said I would be taken to her little office shortly. Her office is the little room where we get put to sleep… Shona was the assistant who helped with all that side of it, but more importantly a guy called AJ, he was the aim man and gave awesome words of advise prior to me going to sleep.

But again this still took a rather long time, I was given a large dose of ketamine and this really sent me up in the clouds! It felt as though I was in and out of consciousness and then talking and in typical Jay fashion either trying to make a joke or complimenting one of the nurses or even the media crew with us. Then the epidural was in place, I could no longer move my legs. It was happening, and at anytime soon!

I was then wheeled into the operating theatre where randomly there was a TV screen up someone having the final touches done of a hip replacement  it felt like forever waiting around in the theatre, the initial dose of ketamine had worn off and I was starting to make sense of everything. At that point, AJ (anaesthetist) came up and said ‘look jay we are going to give you a heavy sedation, you’ll be in and out of sleep, but I don’t expect you to remember anything from now, then I’ll finally put you to sleep for the procedure. That’s it, lights out the surgery then took place within the following five hours.

After surgery I was very drowsy but pain free and all I wanted to do was grab my phone to chat to people at home. Made me feel a lot better. I was in ICU for a little over 12 hours, where I would receive one-to-one nursing care.

Around midday on the 19th I was moved to the ward, this is where the pain started to kick in. I was constantly topped up with epidural, constantly using my PCA which had a fast acting drug in there and on top of this I was on a constant drip of ketamine. Eventually we managed to control the pain, then the same would happen and I would be back to square one.

Anyway, eventually on the 21st I was given some adaptations for my legs, although the right was missing  I was told not to worry and that I would get the other on Monday morning ready for weight loading.

Jay_Baldwin_adaptionsAdaptions_ Jay

Well I won’t go into all the details but I never got them at adaption until Monday (23rd) in the evening, too late for my weight loading.

The weight loading was difficult. Not only did I have to take a lot of weight through my arms, I could only put 20kg though my stump, very awkward but I understand the logic. It would have been much easier had the second leg been able to put some weight through but hey, always another day!


I had my first nights sleep where I wasn’t interrupted last night, drug free, cable free, just the slight niggles in my legs! That pain can only be described as having to do a heavy leg session at the gym for 24 hours continuous. It’s not nice, but manageable!

I have a few more weight loading exercises that I need to achieve before I can move on with anything else, but I’m sure the puzzle will slowly get

Have a nice day and I’ll give you all up to date in my next blog.