When I tell my cycling friends I’m riding the Transcontinental they usually say something along the lines of, “That’s cool.”

Non-cyclists usually ask if I’m doing it for charity and I’ve struggled for an answer. In my first blog post I examined why I’m doing the event and the motivation is deeply personal. You could even say selfish. It’s all about testing myself and what I can do. I’m not seeking anyone’s praise or endorsement. I have my motivations.

But there is a clear expectation that you only do things this crazy to raise money and that gives me the chance to do good by asking you to give. And the more I think about it the more I realise some higher motivation may just be what I need to keep going when I’m half-lost, tired, dirty, hungry and thirsty in some random part of the Balkans (or wherever it might be) and I don’t speak the language.

So from now on, the answer to “are you doing it for charity” will “yes, I am” swiflty by “why don’t you sponsor me?”.

The choice of charity was easy for me: Cancer Research UK. Cancer in its myriad of guises has touched many people who are close to me. My Mum is currently bravely going through chemotherapy for a second time, her brother has had skin cancer and her mum (and twin sister) both had breast cancer; friends are living with it; colleagues have fought it and have lost friends and family too. The more we can do to understand this disease and develop better treatments the better chance those we care about won’t suffer from it in the future; and the better prospects those who do suffer will have to lead long and fulfilling lives after diagnosis.

I don’t think there is much more to say other than please donate generously. I’m fortunate to lead a relatively well off life and I know many of my readers are too so I’m sure you can all afford to give money and motivation for my ride.

Donate to Cancer Research UK here (or click on Fuck Cancer at the top of the page).

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