This year I decided that I would join the British Heart Foundation (BHF) mountain biking challenge in the Peak District. There are of course many other charities and there are many other charity events but the BHF seemed the right one to pick and this challenge seemed to fit the bill too.
Please read the rest of this post, you’ll also find a link to my JustGiving page where you can go to donate if you wish.
There’s a lot that the BHF get involved in and all of it needs funding, whether it’s scientific research into new procedures and new medicines, funding of hospital support staff or just simple education for the public. It really is amazing what the doctors can do already, bypasses, transplants and all manner of other medical procedures but cardiovascular disease still remain the biggest cause of death in the UK so there’s still a lot more that can be done too. The funding for research goes to University Post-Graduates by means of grants, this is not only an effective way to progress research with a smaller outlay but it also essentially helps the education of our up and coming scientists in the UK.
As for education, it slips under the radar a little in terms of how the public see fund allocation and how much importance people put on the various funding streams. However, it’s probably the most important thing that the BHF can and do fund. “Prevention is better than cure” is an old adage but one that always remains true. And that is why sponsored sporting events and the BHF go hand in hand so well. Exercise, be it running or cycling (obviously cycling is the best!) and a healthy diet go a long way to preventing or delaying heart disease and both of these are involved in a big challenge like my peak district one.
So on to the challenge. The Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge event page provides all the details but to summarise it’s an off-road ride in the peak hilly district with 4 length/difficulty levels and takes place on Saturday 28th September this year (2013). I have chosen to ride the “Ultimate” difficulty level, which is the longest one and at 39 miles is going to be a significant challenge. If you want to know the exact route, then you can download a pdf route map.
As I mentioned the peak district is hilly and this event takes place in the Hope Valley, well known in the UK for it’s mountain biking. It is also pretty rocky and some of the off-road riding is well described as ‘technical’. Below you can watch a video from You Tube of someone else riding one of the Hope Valley descents. This is the first challenge for me as I am not from an area of the UK that has any trails remotely like this.
On top of difficult surfaces I also have to cope with the length and amount of climbing involved. And not only do I come from an area of the UK with few technical trails, I also come from one of the flattest areas too, so although I’m confident that I’m up for the challenge it’s not like I get regular suitable practise! The final challenging aspect to this challenge will be the weather, it’s now past the UK summer and autumn has set in. If the 28th is a particularly windy day then the challenge will become much much more difficult, especially out on the exposed moors.
You can of course sponsor me and help fund the BHF. My fund raising page is here on Just Giving – My BHF Fund Raising Page. And now that my event pack has arrived through the post, I now know my participant number so if you happen to be in the area you can look out for me.
So please support me and the BHF if you can!