So, it is on.
My registration for the C2C Challenge on July 11 and 12 has been confirmed.
Just as well that I’ve upped my training this week then, isn’t it?
I am getting excited about tackling this challenge from Whitehaven to Sunderland – 140-miles in two days.
Apart from anything else it is great fun to be out on my bike, building up the mileage on my training rides. Although it is many years since I’ve felt the wind in my hair I am enjoying the sense of freedom – even when I get hopelessly lost.
I did try a training ride from Lichfield to Sutton Coldfield, via the country lanes, last Saturday and failed quite spectacularly. I probably couldn’t do the same route again even if I tried and I didn’t get anywhere near Sutton Coldfield.
But I did a few more miles than I planned and it was a lovely early Spring morning, so I can’t really grumble too much.
I’m getting to know my bike very well with all these miles I’m peddling.
And we haven’t fallen out yet.
But now the really serious bit.
I am doing this for more than the exercise, the challenge and the fun. I want to try and raise awareness about two issues that have become very important to me over the last three years – ME/CFS and the role of carers in the UK.
When Rachel and I got married we had various plans, ideas and hopes. Although it would be stretching it to say these have been dashed by her illness, there is no escaping the fact that it has still had a significant impact on both our lives.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. I like to think there are far more silver linings than dark clouds.
I’ve learned so many unexpected and valuable lessons over the last few years. One of the biggest is the lack of awareness about ME/CFS that still exists and the hidden or forgotten role that millions of carers do every day in this country.
I have blogged a lot about these issues – please search under “me/cfs” or “carer” in the box at the top right hand corner of the page if you want to read more.
So that is why I decided to do the CTC Challenge.
I’ve already been asked about fundraising. I will be creating a JustGiving page in due course with details of the organisations I want to benefit from my efforts and the generosity of those who might want to add their financial support.
But I have a bigger favour to ask.
I would like people to give me something far more valuable than their money, even in these recessionary times.
I’m after your time.
Would you be willing to give me 10 or 20 minutes of your time, rather than £10 or 20?
I promise to put that precious commodity to good use. I’ll direct you to a petition I’d like you to sign, an article or two I’d like you to read, a letter I’d like you to write to a Government minister or a your local MP.
I realise this is a big ask.
Hopefully it will be worth your while. It would certainly mean a hell of a lot to me.