If anybody had said at the beginning of this year that I would be cycling through the Alps raising over £10,000 for Hope Against Cancer and lose two stone in weight I would have found it difficult to comprehend.
360 miles over four days, climbing 17,000ft over 5 mountain passes later I have not only achieved an amazing feat but also made some fantastic friends for life through my new found passion for cycling. In addition, through my blog I have reached out to people from across the world and through my fund raising found humility and kindness in hundreds of people.
I could not have achieved any of this without the dedication and support of my family, particularly Val, my wife. My suffering in the Alps was nothing compared to what she went through her multiple operations and chemotherapy.
I started this blog to motivate myself and to regularly remind myself as to what this challenge was all about and in the process spread the message of Hope and health to as many people as I could reach. Locally I generated enough interest to get a club – Shepshed Cycling Club – going. With our regular Sunday outings the cub is already a regular feature of life in Shepshed. To date we have 40 members and rising.
At times like this you don’t know where and who to start thanking, as the list is too long, but I have to thank my family first and the charity Hope Against Cancer who put on this challenge. Kudos to every cyclist involved in the training and ride itself especially the leaders. Everyone was so patient with me.
I also would like to thank local businesses and Rose Bond’s proteges at the Charnwood Swimming Club in raising donations for my effort. My thanks also go out to individual people of Shepshed and beyond who either directly sponsored or raised funds for Hope, particularly the tireless Diane Portsmouth and her daughter Becs who held several raffles. Many thanks to so many ex patients who donated.
Thanks also to all those who read this blog and gave me encouragement through regular comments. My thoughts also go out to my late brother in law Kuldeep who was a regular reader and supporter who died so suddenly and tragically a few days before the ride, and my brother Bhagwant who died earlier this year after a long illness.
Many people missed one of my most read blogs about the spoof interview with Bradley Wiggins. Of course you can go back through the archives and read any of my entries but here is a shortcut to this particular posting:
Here is the complete list of postings:
Finally thanks to the local media – Shepshed Eye, Loughborough Eye, Loughborough Echo, Leicester Mercury and BBC Radio Leicester for their fantastic support via regular coverage.
To date I have raised nearly £14,000 via virginmoneygiving, justgiving, gift aid and from the sale of Christmas Cards designed by Val who is an illustrator. This total does not include money that still has to be reclaimed via gift aid so it is difficult to give an exact total but all said and done reaching £15,000 is not impossible. So A BIG THANK YOU to all!
Many people now want to know what next? To start with this is going to be the healthiest start to a new year ever for our family. There are lots of exciting things happening and there is so much to look forward to. In terms of cycling, I have entered a few national sportive events with the ultimate aim to climb Mont Ventoux in Provence, France sometime later in 2016. More of this later but for now I am very happy to be cycling with my friends from Hope’s Italian Job and the Shepshed Cycling Club.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my family, friends and readers of this blog a fantastic New Year full of happiness and health.