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24 days to go to the big ride start. Can’t believe that it was only 8 months ago I signed up for this challenge. How time has passed and what I have achieved in that time.

Whereas I am not quite your finely honed athlete I am much fitter than ever I could have imagined at my age. Having lost all this weight I feel better in myself and feel ready for the trans-Alpine ride.

Last week I told you about the RideLondon 100 and this Sunday I had another fantastic ride – 50 miles but with over 4000ft of climbing. So in the space of 8 days I have ridden the most I ever have and climbed the most I ever have. Unfortunately I forget sometimes that I am testing this ageing frame to its extremes and I have had a brutal reminder of this over the last few days as I have developed a twinge in my left knee. So this week I have done very light cycling and have been applying icepacks and messaging the soft tissues around the knee. Today it had improved enough to go out for a gentle ride with Val – on her super duper new bike and our daughter Hannah who is visiting from Boston.

Val on her new bike and Hannah in the background - cycling along Hallamshire Road - a small track between Shepshed and Belton.

Val on her new bike and Hannah in the background – cycling along Hallamshire Road – a small track in our beautiful countryside between Shepshed and Belton.

Over the next few days its going to be fairly busy as first son-in-law Richard joins us and then son Matt arrives from London. Over the weekend we have a few friends who are joining us for a get together and a BBQ. In between all this I have to fit in some training!

My fund raising is continuing to creep up and it is so lovely to get small and large donations – sometimes from people that I have not seen for ages. I am so grateful for every sponsorship and also to some witty comments – the latest from my old friend Neil Boorman – “physician wheel thyself”!

Today I bumped into another old friend who could single handedly fund the entire research programme by Hope and he has promised to sponsor me too. We had a general discussion regarding giving to good causes and next week I will expand on that but for the moment just say that the giving is not to a person but to a cause. Giving does not have to be big as small amounts soon add up. Giving is also a way of looking at one’s own perspective and decide what one can afford to give and what one can save or forego in order to make a difference to a cause.

Today also marks the start of a marathon effort by a friend Alfonso Jimenez who is cycling from Loughborough to Estepona near Gibraltar in Southern Spain to raise funds for and awareness of Hope Against Cancer. He is hoping to ride 180-190 miles a day to finish the distance in 9 days. To him I will simply say chapeau! Here is his story told in his very sweet way taken from from his Justgiving page (please make an effort to visit his page too and make a donation however small.

I did this charity back three years a go to motivate my brother, that carried a bad cancer disease. It took me 14 days with a lot of obstacles and tough days included a badly injured knee, 40C, strong winds, hills and not any experience in a similar challenge! But along the toughest times I though about my brother and all many others that suffer this disease and it helped me to stain on the bike and push over my limits.

I raised good funds on that time, just at due with the lack of news, many people didn’t know about it and they wouldn’t help as I’m sure they would like to.

Unfortunately, my brother pass away on 2014, but my mind still with those who would need help and have more chances to survive the cancer disease.

This time my ride will be through the same course, but in 9 days! This will be a very serious challenge and I’ll expect a lot of complications. Just thinking about all the people I’ll help with this charity ride will turn sweet any of my worst pains! 🙂

Alfonso Jimenez

Here are the various links you can use to sponsor me:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Hopesitalianjob

http://www.justgiving.com/guru-singh2

text GURU67 with £amount (from £1 to £10) to 70070

Sponsorship forms are at Charnwood Pharmacy, Bloomin’ Marvellous, Dilip’s Multi store, The Black swan, The Crown, Ryatt’s Optometrist, Hall Croft Opticians, Janine Soars hairdresser at “Sheardesire” in Hall Croft, 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.

Further information about Hope Against Cancer: http://www.hfcr.org