Whether it’s a bucket collection, dressing up in school, climbing Kilimanjaro, running an ultra marathon or taking part in an official Tŷ Hafan event, there’s a way of fundraising to suit anybody and every penny raised makes a massive difference.
For the last couple of years, I’ve taken on the Taff Trail Cycle Challenge in a team from the office. Starting in Brecon, we rode the 52 mile length of the Taff Trail, climbing up past Tal y Bont reservoir and crossing Cefn Viaduct in Merthyr on the way to the finish line in Cardiff.
Our first attempt was a disaster as one bike’s gears broke at the top of Tal y Bont (about 10 miles into the ride). After a patch up job leaving only one gear for the remaining 40 mile ride, another bike with only three gears and a crash mere metres from the Merthyr checkpoint, teamwork prevailed and we achieved what seemed at points to be an impossible task. We weren’t deterred though and had another, far more successful go, last year!
There’s no Taff Trail this year, instead, we will be taking on a brand new event called Tread & Trail, where we will bike 30 miles on the roads around the spectacular Brecon Beacons before climbing the north side of Pen y Fan (there’s also a 15 mile version of the ride).
It’s quite a daunting challenge and, while it isn’t quite as far as the Taff, breaking the ride up with a four mile hike up the highest mountain in south Wales will add a whole new dimension to what we have in store.
I do quite a lot of cycling anyway as I often commute on my bike. It’s a 24 mile round trip from home to the office and I try to do that three days a week, stretching the ride out when I can on the way home. So my bike fitness isn’t too bad, but to increase the intensity, I’ve been doing my ride then going straight for a jog. I’ve no idea how triathletes do it, your legs just work differently and the combination makes it so much more difficult.
Training has stalled for a while as I’ve hurt my calf muscle, but the excuses need to stop as the event is just a little over a month away. Cycling is such a great sport that gives a real sense of freedom when you’re on the open road. I don’t get to stray from my regular route too often so I’m excited to get out a bit.
And I’m pretty sure I’m the only person left in Wales without the photo on top of Pen y Fan, so I’ll be able to change that too! I’m told there will be a nice warm bowl of soup waiting for us when we get back to the bottom – can’t wait!
So why not join me on 29 September and take on this exciting new challenge in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, an achievement to be proud of and in aid of a fantastic cause!