I had an amazing encounter with my hero Sir Bradley Wiggins last night. I think it is only fair to share it with you all!
Bradley: Hello Guru, I was passing by and thought I’ll pop in and see you. I hear you are training for an epic challenge!
Me: What a surprise – its great to see you Brad – hope you don’t mind me calling you that and I really appreciate you stopping by. I have been following your exploits with great interest especially your recent hour record. Compared to your achievements what I am doing is very small.
Bradley: No Brad is fine! I don’t like poncy titles anyway. What you are doing is fantastic. How long is it to your challenge and remind me what you are doing.
Me: Only 59 days to go and counting! People who have have been following my blog will remember that it all started in November last year when I went to a presentation by Hope Against Cancer about their epic challenge ride this year to raise vital funds for cancer research and care in University Hospitals of Leicester. The challenge involves cycling 360 miles from Geneva to Milan over four days and ascending 17000ft in the process. My initial doubts turned to despair as I was egged on by family to take it on.
Bradley: That’s laudable – why did you get involved?
Me: My wife Val has had cancer twice – first uterine and then breast. Several operations and chemotherapy later she is almost out of it. This is our way of thanking all the fantastic people in our wonderful NHS who helped us and held our hand along the way.
We came across Hope Against Cancer a local charity whilst Val was undergoing treatment. It has been in existence only about 10 years and already is making a massive difference to cancer care in Leicestershire and Rutland where up until recently cancer detection, treatment and survival rates were one of the worst in the country.
Bradley: I hear that Leicester is now one of the Centres of Excellence in cancer care.
Me: Yes, that is very true. You see by setting up research projects Leicester now attracts top scientists, doctors and nurses into the area and one of the biggest advantages for the local people is that cancer care has improved dramatically. Even CancerResearchUK now supports and funds some of our research projects.
Bradley: I can see why it is so vital to have locally based research projects as at least one in two in the population will develop cancer at some stage in their lifetime.
Me: And everyone of us know someone who is affected by it. Yet this local charity is still largely unknown in many parts of the county and my aim is to raise its awareness locally. It is also a great opportunity not only for me to lose weight and get fitter but to emanate the general message of how exercise, diet and weight loss can improve our health by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Bradley: Have you had much luck?
Me: Personally I have lost about a stone and a half and would like to lose another half a stone but as I am training harder I am eating more than ever and am finding difficult to lose these last few pounds…
Bradley: tell me about it…
Me: But I am very determined and will get there eventually. I am feeling so much better by following a healthier lifestyle. A lot of people that are following my blog have taken up cycling and other forms of exercise, corrected their diet and are losing weight. When I set out I thought if I can inspire one person I’ll be happy but what’s happening locally is exciting. Only last month a few Shepshed people got together and have set up a cycling club which is already proving to be popular
Bradley: Have you raised much in terms of your sponsorship?
Me: When I set out I thought I shall be lucky to get up to a thousand pounds. But I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends and beyond. I have had donations by people that I have never met. I have got to over £4100 and hope to achieve my target of £5000. People are simply amazing. Every one of my sponsors will be pushing me up those mountains in September.
Bradley: Well I got to be going. How can I sponsor you?
Me: That’s very kind Brad. There are various ways – I shall put all the links on my blog. Thanks very much for coming to our humble Shepshed. Shall be following your progress and preparation for the World Championships in March and of course Rio 2016. Bye for now.
Well this was a brief interlude last night. So grateful for Sir Bradley Wiggins for sponsoring me! For others who are considering supporting vital cancer research and care in our hospitals here are the various links you can use to sponsor:
text GURU67 with £amount (from £1 to £10) to 70070
Sponsorship forms are at Charnwood Pharmacy, Blooming Marvellous, Dilip’s Multi store, The Black swan, The Crown, Ryatt’s Optometrist, Hall Croft Opticians, Rosebery Medical Centre, Rosebery Pharmacy, Forest Edge and Outwoods Surgeries, Bridge Street medical Centre and Pedal Power in Loughborough. Don’t forget Livio of Livio’s Italian Restaurant is also collecting a voluntary £1 donation from his diners and promising to match it. Brad – if you are reading this you are welcome to Livio’s anytime.
Further information about Hope Against Cancer: http://www.hfcr.org
Finally I am putting here some pictures from our group training ride of 91.2 miles last Sunday. Once again many thanks to our support riders and to the volunteers for dragging us around and for the fantastic food at the feed station!