Paul Skelly


Tragically Paul passed away, whilst cycling with friends, just three days after this interview took place. A keen supporter of O2E since it’s inception, he will be greatly missed. [ read more

Q1. Which event are you training for?

Gothenburg to Stockholm 350+ miles in 2 days, or something like that!

Q2. How are the preparations and training going?

A bit behind schedule, struggling to get the long back-to-back rides in.

Q3. What is motivating you to;
A) train

To keep up with the Group, most (if not all) are stronger riders than me
B) do the event

I just really enjoy the challenge of doing long endurance rides, particularly with friends

Q4. How did it come about that you’re doing this event?

Slattery bullied me into doing it

Q5. Tell us more about your training.

There were a few key areas, none of which I’ve fully achieved
• Time in the saddle – Surprisingly this is the most important thing as you will potentially be spending 10+ hours in the saddle on consecutive days and irrespective of how fit you are, if your back, neck or “nether” regions hurt you are going to be in a lot of trouble. I could have done with a bit more but I’m hoping I’ll be okay on this one
• Increase my average road speed – Improved it but not enough, I’m still a bit worried about keeping up with the group!
• Long, back to back rides – Life and work has got in the way of this one, still enough time to get a few in
• Not to forget – Building up fat stores to provide fuel on the ride – I’ve fully accomplished this one and am thinking of writing a best-selling book on how to achieve this. If anyone needs an intensive weekend course, I’m yer man!

Q6. What is going to be the toughest part of doing this event for you?

Keeping up with faster riders, particularly on the hills
Q7. Confident for the big day(s)?

Always, you must remain (realistically) confident and if you are not then there is no point in even turning up!

Q8. How have family and friends reacted to your doing this event?

They have got used to me doing things like this on the bike and just think I’m having a long-term mid-life crisis!

Q9. How much do you hope to raise?

I’ve set myself a target for the year for o2e and this event is a part of it. Only I know the amount!

Q10. How would like the donations from your efforts to make a difference?

I really like the charities that we support, and in particular the fact that they are smaller, the amounts that we can give to them really does make a difference.

Q11. Do you have any fundraising ideas?

I’m finding it more and more difficult to get people to sponsor me to do cycling events, so you just need to be creative. My January Challenge for example, asked people to donate just £5 and ended up raising over £500! Also, you need to be creative and it’s always good to work in a group, particularly getting new people involved.

Q12. What is it about O2e that resonates with you?

It’s all in the name – Ordinary people being truly extraordinary! I have genuinely felt extraordinary after completing some of the challenges!

Q13. What type of event would really get you out of your comfort zone?

Cycling from Gothenburg to Stockholm in two days, trying to keep up with Slattery & Co.

Q14. Do you have any suggestions of how we could evolve O2e and what would you like to see more of?

The Group events are always a winner! Finding the balance between getting new people involved and keeping the regulars motivated is the big challenge. Being creative with the events is the key!

Q15. Finally, what advice do you have for any would-be O2eer?

Don’t think about it – Just go out and do it. You will never know unless you try and the satisfaction of completing a challenge is extraordinary!