This year's challenge is to start pedalling solo from Warton in sunny (and hopefully tail-windy) Lancashire on Friday 11th July and arrive in Carpentras, which is right down in the far end of France. So that's 1000 miles in 7 and a bit days, carrying about 35lbs (16kg for you youngsters) of baggage. That's part one...
After a day-off I'll be joined by my regular partner in cycling/lycra crime, Mr Andy Wickham and then we have a go at Mont Ventoux, big time. The idea is to complete as many ascents of the 'Beast Of Provence' as we can in one day. Andy did three ascents in 2011 in a day which qualified him for membership of the 'Club des Cingles du Mont-Ventoux' which translates loosely as 'Club Of Screwballs'.
This time we are aiming at six ascents which equates to cycling for 85 miles up a gradient of about 9% average, and climbing just shy of 30,000 feet which is more than the height of Mount Everest. Not quite sure if I have words to describe what that loosely translates into...
Only eight English cyclists have completed this challenge (one of them is a guy who was in our Team Lanterne Rouge from a couple of years back: take a bow, Mozza!) and so far zero cyclists from Norn Iron!
Each year these challenges have gotten steadily worse but this marks a new low. Before I get the violins out, the reason for attempting this is to try and persuade you to sponsor me and divert some of your ill gotten/hard earned cash towards a very, very deserving cause: the Royal British Legion.
2014 marks the centenary of the start of The Great War and also the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings which will spotlight the veterans who gave everything for their country. Unfortunately there are many more people who served in the Armed Forces and have suffered in the numerous conflicts since 1945 and this is where the RBL come in. These are people who deserve our thanks and support.
As per previous years I will donate £1 for every £5 raised: if you can select Gift Aid too on the JustGiving pages then we are on to a winner. Cheers!