LEIKAEMIA AND LYMPHOMA RESEARCH/BIGBIKE RIDE PROGRESS

FROM ENGLAND TO WALES

A malfunction on my computer has sent my first version on this to cyberspace, so I hope for better here !

My Hub earlier on this topic has generated excellent interest and various queries which I hope to deal with here. THE BIG CRICKET RIDE is being undertaken by my two sons David and Chris in liaison with and to raise support for, LEUKAEMIA AND LYMPHOMA RESEARCH, a leading Charity in the fight against Cancer. As regular readers will know, I was diagnosed some 12 months or so ago with T-Cell Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Happily, I am currently in remission. However, both my sons decided that they wished to do something to both raise awareness and funds for the Charity that provided me with support during my Chemotherapy treatment, excellently provided at Southend University Hospital by the National Health Service.

That is how the BIG CRICKET BIKE RIDE was born. Both David and Chris are Cricket people who have both played with distinction in their younger years. Currently David runs his own Company, Pro4sport.co.uk, and continues to play for MCC whilst Chris is Team Director of Surrey County Cricket Club.They thus formulated the idea of the cross UK ride to visit all County Headquarters. That covers 868 miles and they are currently en route to cover that in 15 days at an average of 46 miles each day. A lot of pedalling!

As I write this they have arrived in Wales to visit Glamorgan CCC , having begun on 7th October in Northern England at DURHAM. Subsequent days have seen them cycle South and West to YORKSHIRE, LANCASHIRE, DERBYSHIRE, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, LEICESTERSHIRE, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, WARWICKSHIRE ,WORCESTERSHIRE and now GLAMORGAN. In so doing they have reached 50% of their destinations and pedalled over 400 miles accompanied on various stages by friends and other members of the Cricketing world.

In so doing, and whilst both raising funds and awareness for the Charity, both have put themselves very much to the test. Chris told me, " The first hour or so each day is the worst. The legs are like slabs and the pain rotten. After that they go numb and the pain goes and you are then left to concentrate on your mental focus till the end and finally prepare for more of the same next day" David supports that and adds" I never thought I would say this but some days when the wind is driving the rain into your face, you actually look forward to the ice bath at the end to warm you up!" Ice baths by the way are used as muscular relaxants etc to enable the body to recover quicker after strong activity and generally feared by participant usually forced into them by coaches and phsyios etc.

However, the key element is mental toughness as both are finding out and are committed to maintaining in their own individual ways. The true route to success in Marathon type events is a harmonious combination of preparation, specific as well as general physical fitness and mental strength to focus on what is being asked by the task. A 15 day Marathon ride such as this is a graphic illustration of what is required and has to be delivered. It is all the more praiseworthy in that it is not motivated by personal gain or achievement but a desire to assist others.

WHAT LIES AHEAD.

50% completed means that the remainder of West and Southern England awaits. From Wales the ride returns to England and arrives at Gloucestershire and then Somerset before heading down to the South Coast at Hampshire and Sussex. The final legs take in Kent, Essex and then London, the home of both Middlesex and Surrey. It is at the home of Surrey , the KIA OVAL that the ride is completed on Friday 21 October and rounded off there with a Charity Dinner and Evening on Saturday 22 October. 868 miles behind them, the boys will be hoping to have raised a substantial sum as well as increasing awareness for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research from a variety of sources, chief of which is JUST GIVING/ BIG BIKE RIDE of course.

I will ,in a further Hub, advise on the later stages of the ride and how things ended and what lessons were learned and what benefits obtained for the Charity by this selfless act from two 40 year olds who remind their father at least of what they were like as youngsters in their keenness to take part in sport and see how far they could go. I tell you without fear of contradiction ,no father could expect more and personally I am blessed to see their good spirit put into such good use.

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