Last October I did a three hundred mile cycle ride across Wales with a group of mates. I did it to raise money for Bridge2Aid.
I’m not going to lie…it was tough.
Yes, I’d put the training in, but it didn’t fully prepare me for cycling across the top of Snowdonia in a gale-force wind and driving rain. And that wasn’t helped by the fact that I came off my bike on the first day, taking a chunk out of my right arm and knocking a few dents into my bike.
But we did it, and it felt like an achievement.
Fast forward to the BDIA Showcase at the NEC a few weeks later and I bump into an excited Ashley Latter. ‘I need to talk to you’, he said, ‘I followed your cycle ride on social media and you’ve inspired me…how do you fancy doing the Land’s End to John O’Groats Cycle Challenge? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.’
At that point, I was still nursing the cuts and bruises of the Welsh ride and the thought of taking on another challenge but three times the distance wasn’t filling me with joy and excitement.
But that Latter bloke can be very persuasive; he stared straight at me and I swear his eyes did that thing that the snake does in Jungle Book. Before I knew it, I’d said yes, bought one of his books and enrolled on a two-day ethical selling course!
But that wasn’t the end of it – the Latter was on a roll. By the time the show closed, he’d also worked his magic on Chris Barrow, Sheila Scott and Simon Tucker. The deed was done.
So, here we are…a team of middle-aged dental business consultants with a collective age way in excess of 300 years about to take on the UK’s biggest cycling challenge.
How do I feel now?
Excited, daunted, apprehensive, determined and fat in equal measures.
But a challenge is a challenge. The training has already started and we’ve set ourselves the stretching goal of raising £50k for three wonderful charities – Cancer Research, Bridge2Aid and BrushUpUk.
I’m looking forward to travelling the length of the country with four friends who I respect and admire. Friendships will deepen, stories will be created and memories will be made. And hopefully, by the time we cross that finish line in John O’Groats we will have raised a shed load of money that will make a massive impact on people’s lives.
Practice Plan, Dental Sky and Wesleyan have agreed to sponsor the full ride so we can promise that every single penny you donate will go directly to our three chosen charities…and don’t forget to do the GiftAid thing as well – that really helps.
We’ll be posting throughout our training and the ride itself, so look out for us on social media.