One of our amazing volunteers Ian Tallamy talks about his new challenge as he prepares to take part in this year’s Threshold Sports ‘Ride Across Britain’ In aid of Pass It On.
Why did I choose Pass it On?
I have recently had links with a Bristol-based homeless charity which provides lunches and hot meals for homeless people based in Bristol. Some of their backstories are often tragic and complex. For example, a young person who came from Eastern Europe looking for a better life finds himself on the streets, and a well-educated man who made some bad decisions also ended up on the streets. I’ve seen so many examples of others who have found themselves homeless. They find themselves ignored and often neglected, and so the Pass it On has recently had a resonance with me to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I thought if I could raise money for them and make a difference, even for just one or two of them, bringing just small changes like regaining some respect and dignity, keeping warm and dry over the wintertime, then it will be a worthwhile cause.
Why the bike ride?
Well, this isn’t my first time riding Land’s End to John O’Groats, but it will be the hardest for me. I love cycling, but the long days in the saddle are much harder than when I started my first charity ride about 12 years ago. The bike ride pushes your body to the limits, both physically and mentally challenging, it pushes your body to the limits. On average you cycle 109 miles a day, every day for 9 days, covering over 980 miles to complete the country’s most iconic bike ride. Most of the roads you take avoid the large busy main roads, but they are more challenging for it, with steep uphill sections, challenging descents, crosswinds, heavy rain, frost (in Scotland) and avoiding hazards. Cycling is a non-impact sport, so it’s kinder on the joints than running, but all those hours in the saddle take their toll on your knees, your hips, your back, your neck and in other places which I probably won’t mention here. Every day it gets progressively harder and more wearing on the body, the aches and pains accumulating as each day passes, and for me, this is the ultimate challenge.
The ride is organised by Threshold Sports which has a magnificently organised event open to a large number of riders. They provide food, route directions and set up the base camps for us to stay in every night. When I say ‘camps’ – yes this is outdoor camping – no premier inn or comfy hotel to stay in every night. Basic showers and wash facilities are provided, but this is a long way removed from en-suite facilities and a supportive mattress. But I know I’ll be able to get a shower, a hot meal, a night under a waterproof canvass and a sleeping bag which is my own unlike some of the homeless folks across the country.
This will be the third time I am hoping to do the Land’s End to John O’Groats ride, and I think that for me, this will be the hardest yet.
You can donate to Ian’s charity bike ride by following this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/iantallamy2022