We go again… 

For 42 years I’ve never been particularly good at keeping secrets, but up until tonight (17th January) this challenge was very much on a need to know basis; well that is unless you are a big fan of Geoff and heard him mention a statement of intent on two separate mainstream TV channels. So just to the odd 17 million give or take one or two, he’s even worse at keeping secrets than me!

Get to the point, I feel like I’m waffling. Well, followers of this blog, Twitter & Instagram feed know that I love a challenge and probably felt that I’d got that out of my system after the 2015 Tour de France. 

However as per the title – this year ‘We go again‘ it’s three times as crazy and yes you guessed it there is a bike involved as well. 

Four of the original 2015 team – Geoff, James, myself and catalyst Doug are joined by Marcus Leach to form a quintet, supported by some of the same top crew – Morts, Sarah, Paul, Bob and Jimbob to name but a few.  

It all kicks off in May with the centenary Giro d’Italia, recognised as the hardest for decades. Not sure what the name for a kitchen sink is in Latin, but they threw that at the route as well. The map doesn’t do the difficulty justice but there will be some very honest days, especially in the north when on one particular stage in the Dolomites is a climb of 5400m in elevation.

Then to the Tour de France in July. Out of the three, although the most famous, on paper the route doesn’t seem as challenging as the Giro. Again we will be tackling the parcour one day before the race as in 2015 so the mountains will have crowds camped out on them in preparation for when the bigger boys follow.

Third and by no means least La Vuelta a España, an intense few weeks on the bike. Southern Spain in August is hot when you have a chilled Cerveza in your hand, let alone when playing the mad dog and Englishman role to the max by riding in the midday sun. There are some savagely steep roads and it will be tough, that’s a money back guarantee

Why all this madness ?

The Local Growth Fund has been granted £2.45m to allow work to begin on a £3.5m expansion of the globally significant Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Work has started and by the Autumn the expanded Centre will be ready to treat patients. Cure Leukaemia has made a commitment to raise the additional £1 million capital funds by December 31st 2017 to ensure this project is fully funded, and that’s where we come in, back in the saddle to help raise awareness and funds to plug the £1m gap.

Two years older but certainly not two years wiser you could say from this challenges perspective. 

In this time I have also sadly witnessed first-hand the loss of my Mother in Law how all forms of Cancer affect not just the patient but the families and friends.

I’m back training on the bike, the aches and strains are the same, but I know that as in 2015 every pedal stroke isn’t about a Strava segment but about beating my personal best for the charity and all those that have been effected by Cancer.

More, much more to follow, but let’s leave it there for the moment… 

Wish us Luck x




~ by theboxterboy on January 17, 2017.

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