Today is World Parkinson’s Day, which seems the ideal time to launch my fundraising campaign for one of my next crazy challenges.
In September I will be joined by my wife and others to take on 3 of Italy’s most famous mountain passes. Over 2 days we will cycle 200km, 60km of which will be uphill.
The first day is 80km of riding and taking in the mighty Stelvio Pass, the highest paved road in Europe. 21km of continuous climbing around 48 hairpin bends.
Day 2 will be an epic challenge with already tired legs, starting with the Passo Gavia, 25km of continuous uphill then following a safe but speedy descent, straight onto the Passo Mortirolo, the shortest of the 3 climbs but maxing out at a 20% gradient, once described by Lance Armstrong as the hardest climb he had ever ridden – and we won’t be using any of the pharmaceutical assistance he used to get to the top!
So why take on this challenge? Parkinson’s Disease is incredibly indiscriminate. Any of us could be affected at any time. There is no diagnostic test for it and no cure. 1 person in the UK is diagnosed with Parkinson’s every hour and 1 in 20 of those are aged under 40.
Parkinson’s UK undertake research and provide care and support to anyone affected by Parkinson’s. They also provide training and education to care professionals to try and ensure everyone receives the best possible care.
Though the challenge is not until September my training is already underway. A broken wrist may be preventing me from cycling just now but I am dragging my sorry ass out running and walking while attempting to shed a few pounds (14 down so far).
While I continue to push myself to train I need your help. Please send me your messages of support and if you can, any sponsorship would be very gratefully received, just click the following link!