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Like all the best challenges this one started out in the pub….to celebrate the Tour de France starting in Leeds we landed on the idea of cycling Paris to Leeds ahead of the ‘grand depart’ as our kind of homage. Synonymous with Leeds and Cycling (and running and triathlon) is Jane Tomlinson who’s amazing efforts raised awareness and funds for so many great causes and who’s appeal continues to raise funds for a range of charities including children’s and cancer charities - £4m in the last 2 years (http://www.janetomlinsonappeal.com/the-appeal/how-the-money-is-spent/). Take the time to read up on Jane and I guarantee your day will be the better for it, truly inspirational.
As many of you may (or may not) know I’ve been no stranger to a bit of physical exercise and being generally fit, albeit we’ve drifted apart a little over the last 10 years. Still it’s riding a bike, how hard can it be compared with running….oh the naivety!!! The furthest I’d cycled before February was 30 miles (June 2012, just before Steady’s BBQ, which may explain why I have little recollection of discomfort….). Since starting my training in earnest in late January, I’ve moved through the 2,000 mile mark, learnt more than I ever really wanted to know about padded shorts and chamois cream and have become a general bike bore. In addition I’ve shifted from a rather heady 18 stone to a current 15.5 with a target of 14.5.
In fairness I’ve loved it, and the moments when the torrential rain or insane drivers have tested me the thought of the appeal have got me through. Jane’s is an amazing, sad, heart warming, uplifting and to repeat myself inspirational story and in whose name some unbelievable work continues to be done.
Your support will ensure that her memory and work continue and will be massively appreciated by me.