Thursday, 10 May 2012

Why do it?

With just over a week left before I set off on the bicycle ride, the reality starts to become more and more daunting.

For many months I have just thought about the concept of riding a bicycle 1200 miles, and reflected on the joys of pedalling through sun-kissed countryside, gliding down gentle hillsides, having amusing conversations with bemused Dutch, German, Austrian and Hungarian people.

However, I can now start to imagine the reality of aching legs, exhaustion, bonking (technical cycling term for running out of glucose and therefore energy), punctures, falling off, traffic, getting lost, and so on.

So why do it, one of my colleagues asked me? Well, it is good to do it for a cause that I think important, and that whatever money I raise will go to help people who are less fortunate than me. There is also the sheer joy of cycling, of pedalling onwards, using no expensive fuel and just hearing the swish of rubber on the road.

But after a few weeks at home meeting and talking to old friends I realise that I just want to be able to celebrate the great fortune of my own health. At 58 years of age more and more people I have shared the world with are starting to suffer; various cancers, arthritis and tragic accidents. I feel very lucky to have escaped so far, and to be able to contemplate two weeks of heavy duty cycling.

We can take health for granted, but as time goes by it becomes more and more precious.

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