I wrote several weeks back that I’d met a number of the50 riders who form the “Hospice Team 100”, who will be riding from London to Paris with the aim of covering their costs and raising £100,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich. Richard Ward, one of the team, has found time to send through an update, the evening before they go off to London (on the 15th September) for their ride.
Richard recently spent a summer holiday on the Greek island of Lefkada where the day time temperatures did not fall below 30 degrees, so he faces a real change in the weather with the tail end of Tropical Storm Henri around for their ride down to Dover, which will mean some last minute decision on what to wear and what to carry on the bikes.
Being away on Lefkada meant that Richard missed the training ride to Orford that a number of his colleagues went on (pictured above), but he was able to hire a bike on Lefkada and do a tour of the island, a 47 mile ride with 6,732 feet of ascent, in 30 degree temperatures. His family thought him mad, but he’s convinced that it was good training for the ride to Paris, and found it a wonderful way to see the island and its mountainous terrain.
So far he has completed 23 rides and notched up 793 miles, though he tells me that as a novice cyclist he probably should have done more.
And he was honest enough to say that he had experienced his first fall as a result of not unclipping. Oh, Richard, I imagine that everybody who clips in has been there, and probably more than once! He was almost home after a 40 mile ride to Snape when he forgot to unclip and described the slow motion comedy crash, and was glad that he had a helmet on. Fortunately no harm was done, apart from dented pride and mild embarrassment. He thought that his late daughter Cathy, who died from brain cancer in 2011 and was helped tremendously by the Hospice at Home Team, would have enjoyed seeing his mistake and tumble.
So far the team has covered their costs and raised over £60,000 for the hospice. If you feel able to back their efforts and help them in whatever way possible towards their £100,000 target, here’s the link to donate.