Thanks for visiting my fundraising page.
I have decided to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for the Big Issue Foundation. This is a bit of a challenge for me as I have never cycled more than about ten miles. On top of that, I will have to be seen in public wearing cycling gear! (Yes, I really am going to get some proper gear: apparently it is my only hope to avoid nasty sores in painful places.) On the other hand, I do already have a bike, which is a start. I now need to start using it for more than the usual three miles to work! If my colleagues spot me arriving at the office later and later, this might indicate that I am finding longer and longer routes to get there!
I first got involved in the Big Issue many years ago when I worked on a study of homelessness in London. That really opened my eyes to how lucky I was and how easy it is to slip into a spiral of events leading to homelessness. It really can happen to anyone. And once you are homeless it is incredibly hard to get permanent housing. That is where the Big Issue Foundation comes in with their excellent work supporting people in their search for homes and jobs. Follow the link on this page to find out more about their work.
Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It's also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Big Issue Foundation gets your money faster and, if you're a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
So please be as generous as you can and help me to achieve my fundraising target!
15-4-09 Update! I can just about claim now to have started training! I've been on two rides, one of around 16 miles and then one of around 21 miles (thanks Pete). Next one coming up tomorrow. And I'm very grateful to people who have lent me various items of clothing and equipment ... or who bought me a saddlebag and water bottle holder for my birthday! We're on course...
26-4-09 Update! I did an 18-mile charity ride from Ipswich Town FC to Colchester United FC yesterday. Felt great - lovely countryside and great company. To help my training I also rode the route in reverse to get to the start. And if you add the 2 miles each way from my house to the football ground, that's 40 miles! The most yet in one day. A little sore today, but far less than I had feared!
13-6-09 Update! I have just bought my first-ever pair of cycling shorts. Yikes!
14-6-09 Update! After a month out of the saddle (apart from the odd local journey), I got back into training yesterday and rode about 48 miles on a very hot day, joining a CTC ride from Copford Green. The shorts were a revelation - very comfortable.
27-7-09 Update! I made it! Got back home in the early hours this morning after completing the ride Saturday evening. It was very rewarding, though even more physically challenging than I had expected. No time now, but I will write more about it and post some photos when I can.
2-8-09 Update! I have uploaded a few photos.