It was something one of my clients said to me, along with updates and pictures of some of the Cyclists Fighting Cancer children with their bikes, that got me thinking how so many of us are blessed with fully functioning bodies that find excuses and reasons not to use them. Then I saw an inspiring video of a gentleman changing a tyre with no hands and just one arm stump, this video is incredible, watch it and then motivate yourself to do something challenging!
I was transfixed, and resolved right there and then to make the best of a challenge which is up ahead of me.
I’ve not mentioned this challenge till now, but most of you who read this will be aware that I try and do something every year to put some money back into the coffers of a charity close to my heart, and obviously for the last couple of years this has been the charity which I am honoured to be a trustee for ( www.cyclistsfc.org.uk ) . This year, the training needs to start early because I am taking on something that has truly given me ‘The Fear’. I have had this many times before when taking on 24Hr MTB challenges and other rides/races, but this one comes at a time when I have had some time off the bike, been really busy with the business and generally been finding reasons to let my fitness and form decline. So watching the video above, made me even more resolute to start taking this challenge seriously and to start training properly.
But what’s the challenge I hear you ask. Well, it’s the Vatternrundan! For those of you that don’t know what this is, it’s a mass participation cycling challenge that takes place mid-summer in the far north of Sweden. It happens at night, because the roads are closed and it’s pretty much light all night, and it’s basically a bike ride around a lake……
…..oh, and the lake just happens to be 300km round it’s perimeter! Yep, it’s a 200mile bike ride, in one go, over one night, round one lake.
As a trustee of the charity, I will be attempting to hold my own as someone who can pull long turns on the front of the group and generally breaking myself in the process. In the meantime I will be doing much the same on the roads of Lancashire, Derbyshire and Cheshire for the next 6 Month!
So this blog article is to give you an early heads up, I will be holding some fun, fundraising events in the lead-up to the challenge (I’m thinking sponsored head shavings of various friends, curry-nights, quiz-nights etc.) so stand by for those, and I forewarn you that I’ll be tapping up folk for as much sponsorship for the actual event as possible. I am going to need some serious financial motivation that will be going towards buying kids like Owen (above) a bike to be able to feel the joy of travelling on two wheels while they are in treatment or recovering from cancer. This is a call to arms, I will be out there training like a dog so you won’t feel short changed and I expect to leave a good year or so of my life-expectancy on the roads of Sweden come June. From your point of view, just watch the video above, have a look at the Charity website to see how inspiring these kids are and stand-by for when I create the just-giving page and start annoying you all!