Many of you know I’ve been preparing for the toughest challenge of my life 16-22nd August – the ‘Haute Route Dolomites’. A seven day 900km timed road bike race from Venice to Geneva, over 17 mountain passes and 19,000m (over 62,000ft).
I’ve done many things in preparation over the last seven months, not least learned to love beetroot juice for breakfast, discovered quinoa, chia seeds and wheat grass, lost weight, cycled nearly 5,000km over 200 hours burning 90,000 calories in wind, rain, snow and scorching sunshine. I’ve climbed >10% gradients during my search for the long way to work at 6am in the morning, I’ve enjoyed coffee and croissants in the sunshine by the lake and I’ve sat shivering, with snow blowing in the wind, trying to eat some sugar in a doorway, after bonking at the top of the 2757m Stelvio pass – not having the energy to even raise an eyebrow when a female cyclist stripped out of her wet clothes into a dry set right in front of us.
I’m worried it’s not enough, but I couldn't do more so it will have to do.
Why these children and why the Happy House of Watamu? Kenya continues to suffer political, economic and many other challenges. Many international visitors have travelled through Kenya and hand delivered their donations. The current troubles have reduced the number of travellers – meaning the charity need to pay postage and import duties for the basics many take for granted such as toothbrushes, sanitary towels, books and pens. My family has been helping the UK nationals who run the home for many years. My twin sisters sponsor orphaned twin boys. After meeting the people involved I was struck by their energy and enthusiasm and genuine commitment to give these children the best possible opportunities.
All my costs are covered; race fees and accommodation and helicopter rescue insurance! Any donation you make will go directly to the Happy House charity.
If you are able to make even a small donation I am very grateful. You can think of me suffering in the saddle or you can think of the happiness you can bring the children of Watamu.