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No accounting for charity cycle ride.

When a good friend of mine mentioned that they were doing a cycle ride for the local charity ‘Albion in the Community’ (AITC) I was at a point in my life where I felt I needed a new challenge beyond the work of my accountancy business ‘Coastal Tax and Accountancy’. I  looked into the work of the charity a bit more and discovered some amazing and inspiring work going on right on my doorstep.  The charity runs one of the most diverse football and sport disability schemes in the country. In 2013 they became the largest provider of disability sport in Sussex giving over 2,000 people the chance to access and take part in sport. I had to get involved, and although two of those previously interested dropped out I resolved to commit myself fully to making the journey from Brighton to Paris by bicycle and raising £1,000 for the charity in the process. It’s funny how often aiming to achieve something significant for others can in the end also benefit a person directly too.  I realised that at the same time as making a difference for local disabled people I would also have an incentive to change and improve my own health and fitness. A lot of preparation and training has to go into a two-day journey of more than 130 miles and I am grateful for the help of some amazing people along the way:

  • Mickey Two Hammers and Northern Gerry for showing me the ropes;
  • Tobias Bremner from Physio Clinic Brighton http://www.physioclinicbrighton.co.uk/, for his advice and his emergency repairs;
  • Stuart Tranter of Dynamic Yoga for help with my overall fitness, especially core fitness that is essential to cycling;
  • Gordon Davey from G-Whizz Cycles for his reconfiguration and servicing of my bicycle before the trip;
  • Robert Sanders, NLP coach for helping me maintain my vision and focus through the completion of the arduous journey.

It certainly was a tough trip.  We started on the first day with a 60 mile cycle from the Brighton Amex Stadium, via Newhaven and Dieppe, to a point just under half way to Paris.  The route was consistently hard going with a steady uphill incline and a final 12 mile hill section leading up to our hotel at the top – a total climb of 2,500 feet. This first day prepared us well for the second leg which was a 72 mile stretch of hilly countryside. To begin with we were feeling fit and up for the challenge, but as the day wore on it became quite exhausting with a total up and down height of about 4000 feet.  By the time we had all arrived in Paris, thankfully with no major incident, we had travelled in height terms the equivalent of 6 Eiffel Towers!  You can imagine we were very glad to see the real thing come into view. Overall the ride to Paris was a huge success as you can see if you look at the Brighton and Hove Albion website Also in the Brighton and Hove Independent Newspaper. By the time we had set off for Paris on Friday 20th June we had raised, after expenses, a total of £29,000 and this figure has increased since we completed the ride.  We are having a meeting at the Albion Football Stadium to hear the final total amount raised by our endeavours. Of course Albion in the Community are happy to receive donations at any time. Finally, a personal thank you to all those who have given donations or made pledges on my behalf for this excellent charity. I have nearly hit my target by a combination of online and offline donations and I am still hoping to raise and additional £300.  I’ve hung up my long distance cycle helmet for now and put my accountancy hat back on but I am still looking for donations of any amount, from £5 to £50 via my Just Giving page , or to me personally.  It’s not too late so do make a donation on the site or contact me if you would like to help.

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