Thursday, 9 April 2015

This year's charity rides.

Right, that's my entry fees paid for this year's charity rides.

This year I am riding for TWO charities
1) Wheelpower - in their "Tour de Vale" on 7th June 2015
2) The BHF -in their main "London to Brighton Bike Ride" on 21st June 2015
AND doing an "extra" solo event - a 200km ride sometime this Summer (details to be confirmed!)
The 200km event may possibly be overlapped with one of the other events, or it may be a separate ride on its own - details haven't been finalised yet!

Regular readers will know that I completed last year's London to Brighton ride on a heavy 3-speed Royal Mail post bike as part of a team.
This year, I'm taking my own bike, Mermaid, which is still a heavy bike, but has 24-speeds :-)
But I'll be "going solo", so no team back-up and transport, etc. etc.
I'll probably drive to central London, then cycle the last half-a-dozen miles to the start, then do the event, get the shuttle bus back (supplementary fee applies!), then cycle half-a-dozen or so miles back to the car, and drive home.
No point trying to park too close to the start - the parking will be restricted and/or crazy, so I am better off parking a tidy distance away.

The British Heart Foundation funds research into Heart Disease, which is still Britain's biggest killer at about 73,000 deaths a year, according to the latest figures (2014), compared with, say, a well-known disease like Breast Cancer with 11,716 deaths a year (2012 figure).
In the USA, heart disease comes in at 611,105 deaths (2013), and is the leading cause of death, while, say, ALL cancers combined comes in at 585,881 deaths (also 2013 figures)

So, for sheer numbers of lives to be saved, it has to be heart research!

The other charity I am riding for is "WheelPower" - a local charity, but with a wide reach.
Some of you may be aware that I live in Aylesbury, and our local hospital is Stoke Mandeville Hospital. And what of it, you might ask?
Well, in 1943, the British government asked the eminent neurologist Ludwig Guttman to establish a National Spinal Injuries Centre at the very same Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and he organised the first "Stoke Mandeville Games" in 1948 for disabled servicemen, which later evolved into the well-known "Paralympic Games" - the "disability" counterpart to the Olympic Games.
So the "Paralympics" started at my local hospital (yes really, and it is recogised by the Olympic authorities as such, and there is a golden mailbox outside and everything!)
And WheelPower?
I will let them speak for themselves:
"At WheelPower we are passionate about sport and dedicated to providing opportunities for disabled people to live healthy active lifestyles."
WheelPower are based at the sports stadium just behind Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The sports stadium is used by a mix of able-bodied and disabled folks, and is also the starting point of the Tour de Vale cycle event I will be riding in. The riders for the cycle event will be mixed, too, with some riders using "hand crank" bikes due to spinal injury - I guess you just can't keep a good rider down!
(If anyone wants to know where to buy a hand-crank bike, there is, of course, a specialist supplier of such stuff in our town!)

So, enough of the intros.
How far am I cycling.
Well, for the Tour de Vale, I am doing the 100km (62 mile) route, which is described as "hilly".
(that hill it doubles back up after Wendover on the way to Chesham has a sign that says 13% gradient at the top of it!)
For the London to Brighton, the route is 54 miles long (about 87 km), and has the infamous Ditchling Beacon )Strava puts it at a 1.4 km climb with an average gradient of 9%!) about 5 miles from the end (Lars Petter Nordhaug, the Team Sky rider, holds the KOM, in case you fancy your chances!).

So. I'd better be good at hills!

And for the 200km ride, I'd better have a cast iron backside :-)

Sponsorship details to follow.
Update 26th April 2015:
Sponsorship details:
Tour de Vale (a 100 km local event) - sponsor me here
London to Brighton (it is what it says!) - sponsor me here
As the sponsorship is split equally between the two charities, you can use either page to sponsor me for either event (or both!)
If you prefer to do it the "old" way, and pledge first, and only pay AFTER I have actually done the event, then you can just make an informal pledge in the comments below or on the comments section of either sponsorship page.

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