Cycling to the top

Photograph by NZPA (I wish I'd done this but I didn't! If anyone's up for recreating it down London Fields later let me know!))

It’s late in the evening and the snow is lying inches thick on the ground. Normal people are planning relaxing summer holidays on a beach somewhere. I’m planning a cycle route that will take around a dozen cyclists old enough to know better more than 1,200 kms from Bath to the northern tip of Scotland in late July 2013.

None of us have ever undertaken anything like this before. Which is probably for the best – we don’t yet comprehend what we’re letting ourselves in for. At least two of the group don’t have a road bike. Many have never cycled more than 100 miles in a day. And in July we’re planning to average more than 110 miles – day-in, day-out – for a week.

But already there’s a team spirit emerging. We haven’t even been on a training ride together. But we’ve got together in the warmth of the headmaster’s office and agreed that it can’t be that hard, can it?

So, over the coming weeks and months we’ll be spreading the word, recruiting a few more riders and a lot more sponsors towards our target of raising £10,000 for Bath’s RUH Cancer Care Centre.  Oh and we’ll be doing some training too.

Right now, I’m not sure which goal is more intimidating – 1200 kms or £10,000 raised for charity. Both seem to look like a pretty big mountain to climb (one more literally). So I’ll close with some wise words from Ernest Hemingway, who knew a thing or two about taking on challenges:

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”