First of all, I have a confession to make ..
After completing the London to Paris bike ride back in July, it was my intention to keep cycling, not as much perhaps but to keep going out on the bike putting some miles in. The reality has been very different.
Without a challenge ahead of me, to look forward to and aim for, I have sorely lacked the real determination to get out on the bike. Summer came and went, work has been busy and the nights are drawing in, all making it harder to get out for a spin.
What I need to find is a challenge, something to motivate me to get back in the saddle and put the miles in. This morning I read the sad news that Lynda Bellingham has died from cancer. Whilst her death has hit the headlines, there are so many more who have lost their battle with cancer.
I know that the UK is facing a cancer crisis. By the end of the next Government’s term in 2020, almost one in two of us will face cancer sometime during our lives. The NHS are struggling to ensure that everyone suffering from cancer receives a good standard of care now, but what will happen if the number of us diagnosed with cancer continues to rise? Many of those who will suffer from cancer will rely on the help and support that is given to them, funded through the donations that the public make each and every year to enable care and support services to continue.
What can I do to help next year? Cycling is my sport and my apparent passion for wearing lycra would seem to be unfaltering. The answer then is simple, I need a new cycling challenge, but it has to be bigger and better than just cycling from London to Paris.
I enjoyed cycling from London to Paris so much that I intend to do it all again for Macmillan Cancer Support in Hertfordshire in July 2015 but I want to ride more and go further than I have done before. I had this idea of cycling over 1,000 kms and I can do this by cycling in 5 events through the year.
So my Macmillan Cancer Support 5 to ride for 2015 are;
Etape Loch Ness (107 km) – This is a 360° route around the iconic Loch Ness, starting and finishing in the Highland capital of Inverness.
London to Paris (500 km) – The London to Paris Cycling Challenge isn’t just one of Europe’s most iconic bike rides, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. No it will be a twice in a lifetime experience.
Prudential Ride London (160 km) – Riding the 100 mile London-Surrey route made famous by London’s 2012 Olympics.
Tour o’ the Borders (124 km) – This is my home cycle ride. The ‘Tour o’ route will travel, mainly over quiet back roads, in and out of three main valleys and climb several stiff hills in this beautiful part of Scotland, with climbs such as “Witchy Knowe”, “Ashkirk Heights” and “Berry Bush” to name a few.
Tour de Broads (114 km) – A nice flat ride to finish with, taking in the sights of the Norfolk Broads.
Fingers crossed that I get a place in each event!
Wish me luck ..