As some of you will know, my summer holidays this year will
consist of an arduous cycle from Innsbruck, Austria to Morzine in the French Alps. Covering a brutal 850kms over 6 days we pass through Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and finally into France. Across those 6 days we will average 140kms distance per day but don't be fooled thinking this is easy as we will be climbing an eye watering total of nearly 20,000 metres of vertical ascent!
Setting off on 8th September, we cross 7 Hors Catégorie (beyond categorisation) climbs, two of which are considered to be amongst the toughest climbs in Europe, the Passo dello Stelvio (pictured) is a daunting 24.3kms with an average 7.4% gradient, while the Col de Joux Plane, our final climb of the trip is 11.6kms with an 8.5% average gradient and is renowned as the climb that broke Lance Armstrong – yes, despite having an industrial amount of steroids and EPO coursing through his veins he famously blew up on the Joux Plane! Sounds like fun, right…
I will be riding with a group of friends as part of Ride2Recovery (https://www.ride2recovery.org) an initiative that was born 10 years ago after an horrific, unprovoked and senseless attack on Ollie Hemsley who was assaulted while on a night out with friends in London. Ollie was stabbed multiple times in the back, suffering an almost total severing of his spinal cord, he was very lucky to survive and was left paralysed from the neck down. Ride2Recovery was his brother Will’s attempt to focus on something positive during this very difficult time for Ollie and his family. The 2019 edition of the ride will be the fourth outing and is also
the ride’s 10 year anniversary. Over the past three Ride2Recovery challenges they have cycled from London to Morzine, Morzine to Nice, and Barcelona to Biarritz ( I was with them on that ride), travelling over 2,250 kilometres in total.
This is not going to be easy by any means. I've gained 5kg in weight following a lower back muscle tear which had a massive impact on any training. I did this building sandcastles with my American nieces earlier this Summer.
The nicest thing about the amazing people I'm riding with, and the families that are giving up their time so generously as support crew, is that everyone is fully funding their participation in this event. This means that every single penny donated goes to charity.
Across these three rides undertaken so far, Ride2Recovery has managed to raise over £350,000 for some great causes (including Aspire), and our ambition with this ride is to reach £500,000 total raised funds.
To achieve our lofty ambitions we are relying on friends, family and colleagues to dig deep and donate generously. These days there are
numerous requests for sponsorships and charitable donations, as well as individuals supporting charities of their choice in their own way. As such, any and all donations - no matter how small - are sincerely appreciated, and warmly welcomed! Thank you in advance, and do read more about the ride, or follow our Instagram (@Ride2RecoveryUK) for updates on how we are getting on.
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