It’s been in the back of my mind for quite a while that as well as the fun and exercise I get from cycling events I could, perhaps even should, be using them to raise funds for charity as well. A couple of things which have happened this year have prompted me to actually act on this rather than keep forgetting about it or putting it off.
Over the last 12 months both Yoli’s and my mother were diagnosed with breast cancer. Both of them have had to undergo some fairly harsh treatments, but it’s been an enormous relief that the outlook for both of them is now looking very positive. Even with the advances in modern medicine that have significantly boosted the survival rates, early detection is still one of the most important factors. The Pink Drive is a South African charity which aims to help with just that by providing access to breast cancer education and screening to women in disadvantaged communities.
The other fund raising motivation came about through our friend Marleen. For the last couple of year’s she’s tried to get together a charity team through her work, but for one reason of other it hasn’t quite come about. This year though she managed to mobilise people much earlier, and contacted me a few weeks back asking to add my name to their charity group entry for the 2013 Cape Argus. Anyone reading this blog will know how much the Argus means to me, so I immediately said yes to Marleen’s invite. The charity which they have chosen is The Pebbles Project, raising money for disadvantages kids in our area.
Over the course of a couple of months I’d gone from a vague notion that maybe I should be pedalling for a cause to having two that I felt personally connected with. This created something of a dilemma for me: I’ve no qualms about asking friends and colleagues to sponsor me for a good cause; but I didn’t want to canvas the same people twice in quick succession with pleas for support. It took me a little while before the obvious dawned on me. Rather than raise money through one or two cycling events, why not make the scope bigger and roll all of my planned cycling events for the next year together into one big cycling project. The choice of which of the two charities to sponsor would then be left to each individual according to which they feel the most desire to support.
So that’s how the “2,000km for something other than just me” project came about – raising money for both causes through riding in the following events over the next year:
- 14 Oct 2012: PPA One Tonner, 156km
- 24 Nov 2012: Coronation Double Century, 202km
- Feb 2013: 99er, 110km
- 10 Mar 2013: Cape Argus Cycle Tour, 108km
- 28 Jul – 2 Aug 2013: London Edinburgh London, 1418km
As anyone who cycles will know, 2,000km in a year is not actually very much – less than 40km a week, which is not much more than an average commute to work. But of course the above are just the actual events. Training rides over that period may well come to another 10,000km of cycling on top of the actual events – or to think of it another way, the distance from here in Cape Town back to London. So sadly I won’t be taking it easy on the couch between the above rides.
If you’d like to join me on any of the above rides – it’d be great to have some company along all those kilometres. But regardless of whether cycling is your thing, I’d really appreciate you supporting one of the two causes I’ll be raising money for: