They do say that great minds think alike.

A couple of weeks ago Rachel sent me an emailed link to a group organising a 100km bike challenge. She tentatively wondered whether I would like to rise to the challenge.

It just so happened that around the same time I had been mulling over (quietly, within the confines of my own head) whether my bike riding had reached a level sufficient to take on something bigger.

 So the challenge has been accepted.

I will be embarking on a charity bike ride at some point this year. Training and preparations are already under way.


The aim is to support an ME/CFS organisation and a group linked to carers.

Raising money would be good. The bigger challenge, however, is to try and raise a bit more awareness about the illness that has disrupted Rachel’s life over the last three years.

Last year I blogged about ME/CFS, this year I want to do something more.

I also want to increase understanding of the shoddy way we treat those who sacrifice so much to care for family and friends.

The only question is exactly which feat of biking endeavour should I embark upon?

There are a few clear front runners at present.

Top of the list – and I’m hoping I’ll get confirmation in the next few days – is to take the CTC Challenge.

CTC stands for Coast to Coast and is a two-day, 140-mile ride from Whitehaven on the west coast to Sunderland on the east coast taking place in July.

It will be a challenge, especially for someone like me who has freakishly short legs. By my reckoning, taking into account the shortness of my legs, that 140 miles will be more like 280 miles for me.

If I’m too late to register or there are any other issues with the CTC Challenge, I do have a Plan B…and a Plan C, D and E.

I’m going to do something on a bike this year, even if it kil…on second thoughts, I won’t finish that sentence.

Training is already going well. I’ve got back on my bike regularly after our winter hibernation and I’m going to be following a programme which started in earnest a couple of weeks ago and will build over the next couple of months.

I’m also hoping to have a lot of fun.

So, I guess the next important question is would you support your friendly, short-legged, biking blogger?

Stay tuned over the next few days for more updates and more information on what I hope to do.


8 responses »

  1. Sammy J says:

    You know the good old Lichfield Blog will offer plenty of support!

  2. Rosemary says:

    Rachel and yourself have my support plus if you do manage to register for the CTC, it finishes about 5 miles from me.I am sure I could arrange a pint or 2 for you both.I would say extra padding in the arse area needed :P.

    I am curious as to your intentions regarding carers and look forward to reading what you have to say.

    Hope you are both well

  3. Paul Groves says:

    Sammy J: You’re a gentleman and a scholar…actually, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Tidy.

    Rosemary: I’ve got some very comfy and well padded cycling shorts already. More details (on the whole thing, not just the shorts) very soon.

    I’m sure a pint at the end of the C2C will be very welcome. We need to sort out the logistics of the who, what, where of the finish, but I’ll keep you informed of those details too.

  4. Yeah you! I am signing up as motivational coach, campaign volunteer, official photographer and chief t-shirt designer.

    I may even consider rubbing some sore bits – maybe. Which is comedy speak for I’m really proud of you.

  5. Philip John says:

    Good for you, that sounds like a great idea! If I had a bike, I’d ask to join you!

    My Dad did the coast-to-coast walk a (good) few years back actually. Took a good few days but the pictures made it seem like a pleasant, if a little grueling, adventure.

    All the best and don’t forget to grab a Just Giving page so we can all donate 🙂

  6. Paul Groves says:

    MsCreative: 🙂

    Philip: I got a spare bike in the garage…
    I’m planning to reveal details of Just Giving page and other forms of “sponsorship” people might consider in due course.
    I’m treating it as an adventure and a challenge and hopefully lots of fun.

  7. Mikki says:

    We will send some damp sponges and a packet of nourishing jelly babies…. I am not sure how either of these will help really but if anything more constructive comes to mind perhaps we can try that instead…

    Come to think of it Dray said he wanted to get a bike so perhaps he could join you and raise twice the sponsorship. I think I’ll break the good news to him later.

  8. Paul Groves says:

    Mikki: Excellent! Sponges welcome, jelly babies very welcome. Dray would be a tremendous choice as travelling companion – but can you make sure that he realises this is not a pub crawl from coast to coast?

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