The Leuka Fireflies Ride 2003
THE CHARITY BIKE RACE IN AID OF LEUKEMIA
From Geneva to The Croissette
11th June – 19th June 2003
Why am I doing it again? After last years ride, when I reached speeds as low as 3.6mph (about the walking pace of a very old man who’s not walking very fast), up near vertical passes into the snow, that took four and a half hours to climb; I seem to have been coerced into doing it again… And we’re leaving today. What on earth was I thinking?!
It certainly wasn’t that I was any good at it last time… After mile 1 on day 1, it was clear that a race was going on, but it had very little to do with me. It ended up being virtually a solo ride as I hallucinated about being attacked by marmots and the others streaked away like, well like people who were actually good at cycling up mountains. As soon as you start yelling insults at passing livestock - even if they are clearly taunting you - you know you’re in trouble.
Looking at the facts, it’s hard not to feel sick… It’s not like it’s going to be any easier… It’s longer for a start… Up 300k from last year – and we’ve got two days less to do it in. So we have 6 days to cover 1,000k of the Tour de France Alpine route, rounding off with a truly appalling 110 mile day in 30c tarmac-melting heat on the last push into Cannes.
The only reason I can think of is that last year, 8 Cycle Gods - and me eventually – arrived in Cannes and raised a phenomenal £80,000 due to the incredible generosity of our supporters, which was invaluable in bringing the Catherine Lewis Centre at the Hammersmith Hospital to completion. This year, there are 15 of us from the UK, USA, New Zealand and South Africa and we each have to raise a minimum of £5000 to take that total to over £100,000. Every penny of the cash is going towards the fitting out of a new laboratory at the Hammersmith Hospital with state of the art machinery, and dedicated to the production of stem cells and other specialised cells for transfusion to patients.
All I want to do is not to be eaten by goats and make it into Cannes on the same day as everyone else... Doing the ride will be very tough, but anyone suffering from leukemia has an uphill struggle that’s so much harder, it makes what we’re doing feel very insignificant by comparison, so please dig deep… Needless to say, anything you can do will be hugely appreciated.
Or send your cheque to me, made out to ‘Leuka‘ at home:
5 Redcliffe Road
London SW10 9NR
Or alternatively make your pledge online on the website which tells you more about the charity and also has a link to a commercial we made on last year’s ride, featuring me as a Ninja blood cell – Strange things happen in the mountains… Don’t ask!