In eleven days time we shall once again take down our bicycles from the garage wall, dust them down, oil them up, and hope that our 55 year old bodies are up to another weekend of cycling to raise some cash for Wheatfields Hospice.
You see, we are a group of males who really should know better, with few exceptions we are overweight and unfit, we prefer a night in a pub to an evening at the gym, chocolate biscuits to muesli, we use our car to drive 100 yards to the shops, one of our team still chain-smokes and he is the medic in our group.
We are a disparate band of brothers, I have known most of these people since we were seven or eight years of age and we played football together after school and in the summer holidays, we grew up together, we spent our youth driving cars that should have been scrapped years before we came to own them, we married and we had our children almost within a few years of each other and our parties at each others houses went long into the night with all the kids curled up asleep under rugs on the floor while the parents burned logs on fires out in the garden and drank beer and laughed a lot, their history is my history, this is a group of ten males and their families who share many things but most valuable of all we share a friendship of 40-something years.
It was two years ago last March that we lost one of our band of brothers to a brain tumour, a cruel condition which struck fast and took him from us too quickly and yet from that tragedy came our admiration of the work of the Sue Ryder Trust and of their hospice at Wheatfields in Leeds, not one of us was left without a feeling of awe and admiration of the work they do there and in July of that year we took ourselves off to Workington to the start of the Coast to Coast Sustrans bike route, 133 miles over The Lakes and Pennine hills to Sunderland , seven fools in tow, six of whom hadn’t ridden a bike since they were kids, we raised £4000 that year for Wheatfields and more importantly captured something intangible, a need to make this an annual event in Chris’s name, something to mark the memory of his passing.
The summary of that epic journey is told here http://onemorehill.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/c2c-a-final-review/ and the whole of the journey recounted on previous pages of that blog, as is the preparation for this years efforts.
Last year we did the Hadrians Wall Coast to Coast ride in aid of The Joseph Salmon Trust and this year its the Sustrans Coast and Castles route, 130-ish miles from Edinburgh (or thereabouts) to Newcastle, we depart a week next Friday morning for Scotland, eleven of us this year, two support drivers and two nights booked in old coaching inns where beer will be supped and laughter will ring loud and true once again.
We are aiming at a target of around £500 for the Sue Ryder Trust with a JustGiving web site at http://www.justgiving.com/DoingitforChris if you can spare a few coppers then we would be most grateful, if not then thats fine too but please excuse the over-promotion of the event in the coming two weeks 🙂