As part of the Tour Down Under event, there's an amateur ride over the same course as the professionals ride. Since I started riding regularly, I've always had it in the back of my mind that one of the options on this amateur stage was a good target to gauge my (hopefully!) improving fitness against.
Well, as crazy as it seems at the moment, I've just registered for the 92km section of the BUPA Challenge during the 2013 Tour Down Under … at this point “challenge” is an appropriate term :)
Why am I doing this? I'm sure I'll struggle with an answer to that a few times between now and then, but it comes down to this: I need to do something about my health if I'm going to do all the things I want to do with my life, for as long as I'd like to. A challenge to focus on helps keep me motivated to improve my fitness, and there's some work to do if I'm going to avoid being run down by the pros!
So, yes - it's about me, mainly.
But, of course, it's never ALL about me (a lesson learnt often, and sometimes painfully). Over the last few years we've lost several family members and friends to cancer, and a few others who have survived it, at some considerable cost. So I'm taking the opportunity to “Ride for a Reason” and help fundraising for cancer research and treatment at the same time …
So [drum roll!] - I'm looking for sponsors to help with the fundraising part of it. If you're interested and can spare a few bucks, go to the fundraising page and help out … somebody will love you for it, and I'll thank you on behalf of my mum, Ruth, Lee, Nathan, Cheryl, Olive and everyone else I know who's suffered cancer.
I've set the target low - I'm happy to see that exceeded! In return I promise to finish the ride; hopefully not in the back of an ambulance :)