Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. I really appreciate the support
Throughout 2014, I will be undertaking a number of cycling events to raise funds and awareness for Blind Veterans UK.
I will be posting details about what, why and how it's going to my blog at http://finallyseensense.com You can also check out this blog from Blind Veterans UK about the Challenge
The full schedule is being confirmed. However, the two key events are:
Chase the Sun 2014 - 21 Jun 2014
I will setting off on my bike from the Kent Coast at Sunrise on the Summer Solstice and aiming to hit the other coast before sunset. That's 330 KMs in 17 hours! The furthest I have ridden today is 103 KM
Unite and Bike for Heroes - 4 - 9 Aug 2014
In August 2014 we commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Great War and remember all those who have lost their life in this conflict and since. As an act of remembrance, I will be joining a group to cycle from Folkestone to Paris, beginning on 4th August 2014 - the 100th anniversary of WWI, in a specially designed route taking in some of the major battlefields and memorials in northern France and Belgium. The route begins at Folkestone, the major embarkation point of the British Forces of WWI, passes through the major battlefields and memorials of northern France and ends almost 530 km later in Paris. Whilst a challenge in it's own right, the focus will be to offer our respects to those who have made the great sacrifice. Did I mention, the furthest I have ridden to date is 103 KM and I have never ridden a multi day event!
Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) are a wonderful charity who work to give blind veterans much-needed support to adjust to sight loss, overcome the challenges of blindness and enjoy daily life. They have been offering physical and emotional support to vision-impaired members of our military since 1915.
So why am I doing this?
I served with the Royal Engineers for almost 10 years and was medically discharged, having lost the sight in my right eye in 2007. Last year, I was finally forced to retire from playing rugby after 38 yrs due to the risk to my remaining sight. This was a very difficult thing to do and I decided to ease the transition by raising money for Blind Veterans UK so I set up 'Finally Seen Sense', which was a huge success - Thank you!
Since then, I have continued to support the charity and wanted to do more . . . In October 2013, my Father started to lose his sight as a result of Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). This has been a terrible shock to him (and us) and has had a profound effect on him. My Father is a very confident, independent and capable man and it is horrible to see him go through this and lose his independence. However, I know that he will not give up and with support will discover new challenges and experiences.
This has really brought home the challenges of sight loss and I know some of the challenges he faces. To that end, I wanted to do something fitting.
I only got my first proper bike in May 2013 and so I decided to push myself through this new sport to raise as much as I can for this important cause and to offer my respects in the memory of those taken through conflict over the past 100 years. (It's a follow on from Finally Seen Sense, and on a bike - see what I did there :))
I will post more blogs, details of events and pictures on my Facebook page so you can like me there to keep in touch.
or my blog at http://finallyseensense.com
Very many thanks for your interest and donations. It really does make a huge difference!