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Imagine, if you will, what it's like to fall to the ground for no reason at all at 8am on a Saturday morning when you're dressing your child. Unable to move fully, unable to talk you're bundled into an ambulance and flashed to hospital with full sirens and lights, then faced with hours of tests to see what's gone wrong.
I was lucky, recovering movement speech and mental functions within 24 hours- but I was away from work for six months and my family was affected. Many people, like my aunt and uncle, aren't so lucky and suffer long-term physical and mental effects, often requiring care for the rest of their lives.
Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Of all people who suffer from a stroke, about a third are likely to die within the first 10 days, about a third are likely to make a recovery within one month and about a third are likely to be left disabled and needing rehabilitation.
The Stroke Association funds research into prevention, treatment and better methods of rehabilitation, and helps stroke patients and their families directly through its Life After Stroke Services.
I'm riding my bike 64 miles on the St Albans 'Ride for a reason' ride on Sunday 20th June. I ride my bike to work every day, but this is the furthest I've ridden in longer than I care to admit and isn't going to be easy. Please dig into your wallets/purses/creditcards/paypal/piggy banks and donate money to the Stroke Association to support stroke sufferers and their carers.
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 and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Sponsorship is coming in quickly- I've upped my target twice now to give a better feel for what i can raise!
I rode 40 miles on Sunday on the St Albans Charity ride- all went well though I was a little slower than expected. 64 miles will probably take me around 5 hours, buring up around 3750 calories based on stats from Sunday. I'll be doing plenty of training in the meantime, I'm going to ride the hill out of Preston this time round!
Sponsorship has grown a lot, which is...emotional. I'm amazed. Thank you so much, it's turning out much larger than I expected and I'm trying for more. Would £750 be out of the question? £750 for 4000 calories and 5 hours of effort, a good motivator!
Training isn' going quite as well- a couple of 20 mile rides in th last week or so. The commute to work seems faster and the summer weather is great- riding in short sleeves for once. I've done some geekboy testing and proved my bike computer is running 10% slower than it says, which does good things for my average speed!
The best thing is the weather is looking good, so a few 20-30 mile evening rides next week sound a good idea.
The ride is now only four days away, and I'm a bit concerned about my lack of training! I'll make it round, but it's going to be hard and a bit more painful than I expected.
Sponsorship is now running at more than £750. This is excellent, so I've upped my target to £1000. £1000 gives me a target of almost £20 per mile. That's quite something to keep me going from 50 miles out.
In other news, a colleague told me about how his wife suffered a stroke recently. Like me, she has returned to normality pretty quickly but the support of the Stroke Association and other stroke charities helps everybody in times like this. To me, she's another reason to ride.
It's done! I made it round the course in a little more than 5 hours, averaging around 12.8 miles per hour. Not the fastest time, by any means, but hey, I made it!
Most of all, thanks to your donations I have raised more than £1000 for stroke reasearch and help for carers. This is amazing, it's so much more than I ever expected to raise. From the bottom of my heart I thank all my sponsors- this means so much to someone who two years ago thought I may never ride a bike again.