The Italian Job via Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. What could possibly go wrong?
Hello, good evening and welcome- here we go again!
Okay, before I bombard you with all the exciting and mesmerising details of this year's two-wheeled challenge just let me say a great BIG THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored my Alpine and Pyrenean adventure last year.
We raised just about £5000 which helped both the Air Ambulance and Lymphoma & Leukaemia Research. Pat on the back etc.!
This time out the challenge is not only to try and come back with the same bike, but to combine what has been done before separately, i.e...
- distances covered, and
- mountains climbed
...so let's put those two things together and add a third and thoroughly disagreeable element to the mix: cycling solo and unsupported for the first 1000 miles. What does that mean in reality?
It means me carrying at least 30lbs extra weight (and no, that ain't as a result of my revolutionary doughnut diet) and having no wheel to sit behind and draft!
I start on Friday 30th August (eh, do you still need the 'B'?), and I hope that you can see that I will be going through it a little as I ride from the sunny North West and across to Harwich and out through Holland, Germany and into Austria.
At Kitzbuhel I have a rest day (slacker) and meet up with 20 other eejits (including my regular partner in cycling crime, Andy 'Tractor' Wickham) and we then take on the southern Alps and Dolomites as we wheeze into Italy.
Believe it or not but the Southern Alps and Dolomites are the awkward sods used in the Tour Of Italy...and are steeper, narrower and longer than the mere speed-bumps used in the Tour de France!
Names like Gross Glockner, Zoncolan, Stelvio and Motirolo strike fear into any cyclist. The joking just stopped...
The totals read something like this: 1800 miles forward...140,000+ feet vertical...over 16 days.
Why am I telling you this? Well, it would be tremendous if together we could raise some money for three charities: two are 'new entrants', Marie Curie Cancer Care and Teenage Cancer Trust with an 'old favourite' The Royal British Legion making up the trio of deserving causes.
As with previous challenges I will donate £100 for every £500 raised, so let's see what we can do.
You may not be totally familiar with Teenage Cancer Trust but their mission is to provide care and support to young people diagnosed with cancer. Their website explains it better than I ever could: #mce_temp_url#
If you're still reading this then good on you: it is time for me to get out and set about getting a few more miles in...I'll pester you again later.
If you'd like to support The Royal British Legion then please visit https://www.justgiving.com/tijrbl ,
and if you can help Marie Curie Cancer Care then the link to visit is http://www.justgiving.com/tijmc .
ps I'm keeping a blog going at http://tij2013.blogspot.co.uk/