Hoping to help these guys...

Hoping to help these guys...

Friday, 1 July 2016

We Take Care Of Our Own

Hello there and a very warm welcome to this year's supremely ill-advised cycling challenge! Some of you fine folk will know that I cycled across the USA five years ago to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and also the Trinity Hospice in memory of our friend and colleague Linda, who had passed away in 2010.
After last year's successful assault on the Tour de France I was a bit stuck for inspiration of what to do for a challenge: in the absence of any better ideas, I thought why not give the USA another whirl? As per, I try to make these things a little more difficult each time, in the hope that you super-generous types will look pityingly/favourably upon my efforts and be more likely to donate to either (or perhaps even both) of these excellent causes:

Two very different but really important causes.

They might not be immediately familiar to you: 'Bloodwise' is the new name for what used to be the 'Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research', the UK's specialist blood cancer charity. We supported them in 2012 and raised almost £4K! Since 1960 these guys have been going after all 137 types of blood cancers and helping people affected by the disease. 
They fund world-class research; provide practical and emotional support to patients and their loved ones; and raise awareness of blood cancer.

'Combat Stress' help the many combat veterans who are suffering the invisible wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) whilst serving their country. In years past, we have supported charities that help service people with physical injuries (e.g. 'Help For Heroes') but it is obvious that the unseen injuries are at least as important.
In an awful coincidence, o
ne hundred years ago today the Battle of the Somme began. The first day was the bloodiest day in British military history with almost 20,000 soldiers killed. By the end of the Battle five months later, more than one million soldiers from both sides had died or been wounded.
Today we remember not only those killed but also the thousands of men who suffered shell shock (PTSD) from a battle that came to define the horrors of trench warfare: Combat Stress are here to help the women and men who are suffering from recent conflicts in the service of our country.

3500 miles and 120,00 feet from Seattle to Miami: 26 days cycling plus 3 rest days = 135 miles daily average. Ouch!

What's different about this tilt at the USA, I hear you/nobody ask? Well...

- I'm solo, so no hiding from the inevitable headwinds behind other cyclists. Not that I do that sort of thing, ahem...
- I'll be carrying my own luggage, so that adds another 15kg to be dragged across the country.
- The average mileage has risen, regrettably: 135 miles with 4500 feet of climbing each day.
- Any mechanicals en route will be dealt with by my support team. Oh, that'll be me then...

This is not welcome. Not welcome at all!
Ok then, that's enough of the hand-wringing before I realise what a daft idea this really is and talk myself out of doing it! There are about 10 weeks to go until I fly out to Seattle and there is a ton of training to be done before then...

No more of this for a while!
In the meantime it would be terrific if you felt able to donate by clicking on one of the buttons over there, top right or click on the links below. Even the price of a coffee or a pint will make a difference and help someone. Good on you!

- To donate to Bloodwise, please click 'here'!
- Please click 'on this bit' to support Combat Stress.

You may not be familiar with BT's My Donate, but they charge the charities zero commission so any money that you donate reaches the charity. And if you can select the GiftAid option too, then your donation will be worth quite a bit more...

It's important to stress here that if you aren't comfortable donating online but would still want to sponsor me, then please give me a shout at simon@nicholl90.fsnet.co.uk and we'll work-out an alternative. This is a polite way of saying there is no escape, hah-hah!

How it all works: a rare example of win/win!

Just one more thing...regular viewers will know that the title of each blog update always features a song title or lyric, and it will almost certainly be from an artist who has long since fallen off the perch.
Mercifully at the time of writing, I'm very pleased to report that The Boss is still with us, and only a couple of days ago he played what is believed by experts to be his second-longest show ever: just  the 3 hours and 55 minutes. Tougher than the rest alright, hah-hah!

"Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where the hearts, that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea..."


  1. Hopefully you'll be cycling like a boss. Just don't forget to not run up the mountains like Froome Dog.

    1. Hey Joe,
      Right now I doubt that I could draft Springsteen, hah-hah!
      Timber to shift...Sept 11th will roll around fast...can you sort out a tail-wind for me? Cheers!