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Over the last twenty years, many of you will know that I have completed a number of charity cycle rides - the last being my ascent on Mont Ventoux a year ago. My cycling prowess (such that it was!), is now largely in my dim and distant past when I was in my thirties and significantly fitter than I am today. However, if ever there was a good reason to try to raise money for charity, this is it . . . and this time it is personal.
My father in law, Peter Winstone, fought a long and arduous battle with Cancer. It started when he contracted the disease in his throat about five years ago, but over that time spread to many other parts of his body. He suffered terribly, but stoically and in silence before finally losing that battle just a few weeks ago on August 24th. Peter inspired many through his stoicism and as a personal tribute to his strength and enormous character, I am back on my bike for what will undoubtedly prove to be the toughest ride I have ever undertaken; ascending Passo Mortirolo, Passo Gavia and then the infamous Stelvio Pass over the two days of this coming weekend - Sept 20th and 21st. Here are the details for those interested: -
- Passo Mortirolo: The Mortirolo is considered to be THE TOUGHEST mountain one can climb in Italy and many professional cyclists consider it the most difficult mountain in any of the three major tours. Lance Armstrong referred to it as the hardest climb he'd ever ridden!
- Passo Gavia: Although this is a gradual climb for the first 4km, it turns to a nasty narrow one lane road where it suddenly reaches an incline of 16%. The Gavia is a really hard climb with 18% in parts and never really gets below 10% with steady, steep grades and lots of switchbacks.
- Stelvio Pass: Probably the best known of the hills by virtue of being announced as most perfect driving road in Europe by Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May on Top Gear, this is also a brutally steep climb. At 9.045 ft. it is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps with 60 hairpin turns on the ascent.
All of the administrative, travel and accommodation costs of this ride are covered by me to ensure all contributions collected will go directly to the charity.
Cancer haunts us all - I have even had my own scare with the disease two years ago - and so the sooner we can find a permanent cure the better.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
I honestly couldn't think of a better cause so I sincerely hope you will support me in this challenge. Thanks for reading, and please wish me luck!