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.

seatosea-cropped2Apart 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.


(by RachelCreative)

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.


39 responses »

  1. Ingenious, yes I’ll give you 20 minutes 🙂

  2. Sean Fleming says:

    I re-tweeted & replied to your Tweet about this.

    Count me in!


  3. Rosemary says:

    Hi Paul and Rachel,

    Can I have permission to post a link to this blog entry on the carer message boards/forums please or if there is something more specific you want to ask of the members there just let me know.
    I am going to email you a copy of a letter that is being put together just now, so it will give you an idea of issues that are being raised online too.The letter is not finished as yet as we have been waiting to see if the Budget brought anything forth.What a non event that was.
    Hope you are both well.

  4. Keri Davies says:

    What a novel appeal. Although being the classic modern-day time-poor person, I’ll pledge ten or 20 minutes rather than the easy route of coughing up some cash.

    The fact that I’m a cyclist too is also relevant :o)

  5. Philip John says:

    Of course you can, Paul. Count me in!

  6. theaardvark says:

    Absolutely. I pledge 20 minutes or thereabouts.

  7. Simon Whitehouse says:

    I’d be more than happy to give you an hour of my time.

  8. Rosemary says:

    Thanks for your email Paul.Link will be posted round the boards.
    Good luck

  9. More than happy to give you up to an hour of my time


  10. The amount of money that often goes straight towards admin costs can be a bit of a put off when donating to charities, even through sponsorships. This is a brilliant idea! I’ll happily give you 20 minutes to do something pro-active, if at the least to encourage this sort of sponsoring to spread.

  11. Caroline Charlton says:

    Good idea. I’ll give you twenty minutes – maybe more…

  12. Mikki says:

    That’s a clever idea. You can put me down for half an hour; you can get an awful lot done in half an hour if you put your mind to it (as I found out when I was behind on coursework at university, and have taken care never to forget)

  13. Mister Brickett says:

    You can have as many minutes from me as you desire sir

  14. Sid Langley says:

    I’ll be blogging later and your name may well come up over this – anything I can do, just ask. Great idea…

  15. Chris says:

    Sure thing, just let me know what you want me to do.

  16. peterbacon says:

    I can spare ten minutes…. it’s not a lot in jazz time!

  17. stickyplasters says:

    You are on Sir! 30mins is all yours!

  18. Ursula says:

    Paul, my unlimited time is yours. I can’t always promise a perfect follow up on my good intentions – but where there is a will action usually follows.

    It’s a great idea of yours – different, innovative, also ensuring quite a different commitment than just opening one’s wallet.


  19. Karen says:

    Great idea – I can spare an hour in support of my ‘likkle brother’ !!
    Well done Paul !

  20. Count me in! Brilliant idea. Give me a shout when you are ready 🙂

  21. Michael says:

    Hi Paul. open-ended, whatever you need (just realised I just have to write, not do sums or digging). Mx

  22. […] Can you spare 10 minutes rather than £10? […]

  23. cinderkeys says:

    I’ll give you 30 minutes if you can tell me how to put it to good use.

    I’ve signed petitions and read articles and blogged about ME/CFS. So far I don’t think it’s made much of an impact.

  24. ninacolors says:

    I’m in, Paul. You and Rachel are an inspiration, and your C2C is a very creative idea with time instead of money:-)

  25. […] Can you spare 10 minutes rather than £10? […]

  26. […] overlap, which is great for me and my attempt to persuade people to donate ten minutes of their time, rather than £10 when I take on the C2C […]

  27. iainhouston says:


    I’m very happy to give you an hour of my time. Please let me know when and how I can put this to best use.

    Best wishes,


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  31. […] biggest lessons is that the idea behind my original bike challenge – asking people to donate minutes rather than money – seemed to capture […]

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  38. Mikki says:

    Right then…
    I’ve signed the petition from a link on Rachel’s website against removing the direct payment of DLA as I trust her to spend it a lot more wisely and usefully than the local council (why not give them powers to audit recipients’ spend if they want to, rather than taking it off everyone?)

    I’ve plugged which has got an article appearing in ME Essential. And I’ve plugged it on a couple of websites which covered the story of the retrovirus link to underline how important funding research is to finding a cure (durrr).

    It might have taken 10 minutes to do those 3 things, but I doubt it – they’re pretty quick actions really. So feel free to suggest some more! Nagging is my speciality – just ask anyone at work…

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