Over the last couple of years I have managed to lose some weight. During the latter stages of 2011 I was trying to find ways of maintaining that loss, and maybe going a bit further. I have never been, and never will be a gym bunny. Been there, done that, got bored. So what to do?
In November, I found that Help For Heroes were doing something interesting. They have a bike challenge cycling alongside those who have been wounded, sick or injured in the current conflicts riding handbikes. Adding to that, the ride is through the WWI and WWII battlefields of Northern France and Belgium, with some guided visits of the cemeteries and trenches from those wars. If you\’ve read this blog for a while, you will know that nearly 2 years ago, just before he died, I took my Pa to Albert to visit two recently discovered relatives – 1 buried at Bernafay Wood, the other commemorated at Thiepval – my posts at the time can be found here: Somme Trip
So the event chimed heavily. Guessing a better option is most unlikely to turn up, I have now signed up to do the Help For Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride
My initial enquires were met with some entertaining medical questions that took a bit of sorting out! But I have been accepted and have now started training and just entered my 4th week back on a bike after a break (with a small interruption) of about 29 years!
It\’s not going to be easy, but I am sure it will be fun (even if only looking back on it at the end of each day)!
The chance to meet the true heroes of our age, whilst visiting the place of sacrifice of so many in the previous century is too good to miss. And I get the chance to find an interesting way to get fitter to boot.
So, why blog it? Well, a) because the blog is there! b) because I hope to blog the experience of getting ready to do it, and to blog the ride as well, and c) (you guessed it), I\’d like some sponsorship! Please!
There are some up front costs for the ride which Mrs B and I will cover, so if you sponsor me, please know that every penny you donate will go to the charity. If you can Gift Aid 25% extra goes the Help For Heroes
So there\’s a couple of routes for donations:
- At my Help For Heroes sponsorship page, you may be asked for you address – this is to allow Gift Aid to be recovered from the government (I will NOT get your address or email details). If you wish, you can make your donation anonymous too.
- But even easier is to text it – send “BBBR 83 10” to 70070, where the 10 is for a donation of £10. Replace with any suitable number :-). Texters will get a confirmation back, and a URL to go to if they want to Gift Aid it.
The ride sets off from HMS Victory in Portsmouth, and (after crossing by ferry!) we cycle approximately 350 miles through significant WW1 and WW2 Battle sites in the Somme, before finishing in Dunkirk.
Any donations you make will be most gratefully received, and I look forward to reporting on progress, and most especially to reporting I\’ve finished!
Lance Corporal David Albert Bryant S/9024 Rifle Brigade RIP
My Great-Great Uncle died on the first day of the Somme, yet it was only last year that our family found out he existed. Why it was kept a secret I don’t know, but I do know that my grandfather (who was 15 at the time) was named after him. Maybe the shock of his loss made it easier just to keep quiet. Different years, different times.
But Uncle David is (and has always been) remembered at Thiepval, along with over 70,000 other whose bodies were never identified or found.
Before my Father died earlier this year, we managed to get to the Somme to visit his memorial, and remember him properly.