It’s been five years… and now is the time for the next big challenge

Well, where did the last 5 years go?

After the successes of the 2012 Olympic year – meaning the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam of course – the legacy lives on with another big cycling challenge for me.

This time it is the Ride Across Britain (RAB) which is a 9 day end-to-end ride across our country. In total, 969 miles to be covered in just 9 days. With over 700 cyclists taking part, it takes in some of the country’s most breath-taking landscapes; starting from Land’s End in Cornwall to cycling over Dartmoor, Shap Fell in The Lake District, Penrith, Glencoe and the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands.

I think of it as ‘just’ a 100 mile sportive (which I know that I can do) back to back for nine consecutive days. Oh err… not to undertaken lightly!

Over the past 5 years I have remained active, so the cycling aspect of the challenge is definitely something that I can train myself for, but I haven’t done anything significant by way of charity fundraising. This year I am raining funds for the Princes Trust, which creates life changing opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Through your donations they can offer free programmes that give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. You can find out more about why I am fundraising by reading about a Princes Trust ambassador that I met.

But to kick things off, let me tell you about what I have been up to since my previous blog activity:

  • Top left is me riding last year in the “King of The Downs”, a 125 mile one day sportive which include 11 significant climbs. This was the test of my capability and proof to myself that both bike and rider were up for the ‘next big challenge’.
  • Top right is a shot from Gran Canaria, last Christmas, where I spent a wonderful day cycling in the mountains. I look forward to seeing more stunning scenery when we get to Scotland on this years ‘RAB’.
  • Bottom right is me competing in triathlon, which is the sport that got me into cycling.
  • Bottom left is a group cycling photo with my club mates from Thames Valley Triathletes (TVT). As a coach and ride leader, they all think that the past winter of cycling training has been about equipping them for the triathlon season ahead, whilst at the same time it has been laying the foundations for me and my big cycling challenge.
  • And the 2017 glue that will hold all this together is the fund raising, and the opportunity to give something back for others.

So if you want to sponsor me, there is a Virgin Money Giving page that allows you to do so. And please feel free to follow this blog to keep in touch with my training and the event itself.

Welcome to my charity ride blog!

Great excitement in the Weald household this week when I got a call from Virgin Media to say that I had won a supported place on the 2012 Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam. My prize is to ride leg 5 of the event – called the Champagne stage – through northern France, under the Channel, and then through Kent to finish at the new London Olympics Stadium on Friday May 18th.

Am I excited about the prospect of cycling nearly 600 km in 4 days – absolutely!

My commitment to the Cycle Slam team is to raise over £3,000 for the charities involved. A small drop in the ocean compared to the overall target of £2.012M that the event aims to generate, but one where I need to generate sufficient interest from friends, family, business contacts and even corporate sponsors to reach my goal.

And that is where this blog comes on. Leading up to the event I plan to keep everyone informed about my progress – how the training is going; how the charities will benefit; and the wider social perspective on how everyone can get fitter and heathier through sport.

My chosen sport sport is triathlon – and cycling forms a major part of my training activities. Every weekend I lead a cycle group for my club Thames Valley Triathletes – a friendly club based my home town of Wokingham.

So please sign-up to receive email notification of my blog posts – so that you can track my progress and keep me honest in meeting my goals and commitments to the event. Over the next few weeks I will tell you a little bit more about how I came to be involved in the event; the reasons why the cancer based charities are close to my heart; and how your contacts and connections could be very useful to me. So do keep in touch.