Dear All,

I hope you don’t mind the sight of yet another fundraising effort heaving into view, but please feel safe in the knowledge that this will be the last from me for some time. ‘Just like riding a bike’ has already taken on a whole new, ominous meaning, and the Tour de France remains a pipe dream (or perhaps nightmare).

On 5th August, eleven friends and I will attempt to cycle the 450 miles from London to Edinburgh in four days to raise money for Maggie’s, who run centres around the UK that provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families. You may well wonder why we have chosen to cycle well over a hundred miles a day, including a particularly horrible third day through the Pennines, with limited experience of cycling. I’ve questioned my own involvement many times, but the cause and team always help me pull through our training rides.

The Event

Just over 18 months ago, one of my great friends lost his mum, Ruth Tait, to pancreatic cancer. Social and charitable work was very close to Ruth’s heart so, in her memory, we decided to take on a challenge to raise money for a cause she would believe in.

Alex and several members of our peloton were together at Edinburgh University, so we have decided to take a new mode of transport for this reunion. We will set off from Maggie’s in Hammersmith at the crack of dawn on Saturday and aim to arrive at the Edinburgh Maggie’s the following Tuesday. Team Ruth comprises a dozen men of varied fitness and cycling ability – most only bought a bike a few weeks ago – for whom cycling for ten to twelve hours a day will no doubt be incredibly tough, but also enormous fun, and a great way to see our green and pleasant land (and a wee bit of Bonnie Scotland, too).

Why Maggie’s?

Ruth supported and helped organise events for Maggie’s over the years and, when she was diagnosed, Alex became aware of the acute need for care, guidance and information that sufferers and their families develop. Maggie’s seeks to meet that need in the most beautiful way possible. They commission the world’s best architects to create care centres in NHS hospital grounds for cancer patients to learn more about how to live with and fight their cancer. Maggie’s are currently £750k short of fully funding a new centre in London designed by Ab Rogers (son of Richard Rogers). The money we raise will go some way towards making sure this centre is built, allowing the Maggie’s care net to grow ever wider.

Any sponsorship will not only help Maggie’s achieve their goal, but also hugely strengthen our resolve throughout a somewhat daunting outing. If you feel like donating, please click on the link below for our fundraising page:

www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/maggiestomaggies

And if you would like to know more about the work Maggie’s does, here is the link to their website: www.maggiescentres.org

Many many thanks,

Humphrey and Team Ruth

p.s. For visual evidence of the task facing us, here is a video diary of sorts from our first few weeks of training (in which I hardly feature, as I have mostly had to train alone due to scheduling issues): www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyPSUfZUzTA&t=1s