Probably not the last you'll hear from Neil Diamond on this blog if I'm honest, so sorry about that. I'll cut right to the chase because time is tight (Booker T...none finer): in fact the wee countdown clock just to the right tells me that I should be out on the bike sweating instead of sitting indoors typing this nonsense!
This year's challenge is to start pedalling solo from Warton in sunny (and hopefully tail-windy) Lancashire on Friday 11th July and arrive in Carpentras, which is right down in the far end of France. So that's 1000 miles in 7 and a bit days, carrying about 35lbs (16kg for you youngsters) of baggage. That's part one...
|HGV needs IPA.|
|Can we not straighten that line a bit?|
After a day-off I'll be joined by my regular partner in lycra crime, Mr Andy Wickham and then we have a go at Mont Ventoux, big time. The idea is to complete as many ascents of the 'Beast Of Provence' as we can in one day. Andy did three ascents in 2011 in a day which qualified him for membership of the 'Club des Cingles du Mont-Ventoux' which translates loosely as 'Club Of Screwballs'.
|The Giant or Beast of Provence. Merde!|
This time we are aiming at six ascents which equates to cycling uphill for 85 miles (imagine Preston to Carlisle) up a gradient of about 9% average, and climbing just shy of 30,000 feet which is more than the height of Mount Everest. Not quite sure if I have words to describe what that loosely translates into...
Only eight English cyclists have completed this challenge (one of them is a guy who was in our Team Lanterne Rouge from a couple of years back: take a bow, Mozza!) and so far zero cyclists from Norn Iron!
|Gets a bit blowy up here apparently. Record is about 190 mph.|
Each year these challenges have gotten steadily worse but this marks a new low. Before I get the violins out, the reason for attempting this is to try and persuade you to sponsor me and divert some of your ill gotten/hard earned cash towards two very, very deserving causes: the Royal British Legion and Cancer Research UK.
By now, the word 'cancer' will have affected your life on more than one occasion I'll bet: maybe a family member or friend or even someone you have never met but who means something to you. CRUK are constantly working to find out how we can halt the disease in its many forms but this takes a lot of money to fund.
|Adoring fan stalks Wilko Johnson who fights on and on. Go Wilks!|
2014 marks the centenary of the start of The Great War and also the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings which will spotlight the veterans who gave everything for their country. Unfortunately there are many more people who served in the Armed Forces and have suffered in the numerous conflicts since 1945 and this is where the RBL come in. These are people who deserve our thanks and support.
|The RBL works with other service charities too and needs our help.|
As per previous years I will donate £1 for every £5 raised: if you can select Gift Aid too on the JustGiving pages then we are on to a winner! The links are over on the right and also just below...cheers!
To support CANCER RESEARCH UK please click on this...thanks!
To help the The ROYAL BRITISH LEGION please click on this!