This is my first year doing the Extra Mile Challenge. I’ve always enjoyed cycling and used to do it a lot to commute to my previous job, so when I was told of this challenge I thought it would be a great opportunity to get back into it. There aren’t many cyclists within Cawleys, and I’m close with Tony and Dave who are also doing the challenge, so I couldn’t refuse the offer.
The Extra Mile Challenge is about raising money for some great charities, while also having a lot of fun. This year it’s a three-day ride through Brittany, France, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the camaraderie between the team.
In terms of fitness, I’ve been doing 2-3 rides per week or doing gym classes such as spinning and circuit training to prepare. Recently I’ve been taking part in weight training at the gym and, as great as that is, it’s made me a little heavier than when I cycled before – as Tony so kindly put in his blog post! In addition to the cycle rides and classes, I’m also trying to eat a bit better to shed a couple of pounds before the big day.
I think the toughest part of the challenge for me will definitely be the hills! As I said I’m heavier than I used to be, and therefore going uphill will be harder work than before. To mentally overcome this, I’m going to make sure I keep my head down during the ascent. If I’m not looking up I can’t see how far I have left to go!
Supporting Local Charities
The charities we have chosen this year help the local community in a number of different ways. I’ve spent a lot of time with Ride High, a charity changing the lives of disadvantaged children by giving them the opportunity to ride horses, building their self-esteem and confidence and improving their future prospects. Cawleys have been helping with the renovations of their premises and from this I’ve seen the great work they do, and how they carefully handle personal circumstances.
CHUMS is a charity very close to the company’s heart. Gary, an employee at Cawleys, was on the Extra Mile Challenge team in 2007 and sadly died of a heart attack while on the ride. His young family were supported by CHUMS, who are a charity that supports the emotional well-being of children particularly following a bereavement.
The team comprises of myself, Tony Goodman, Dave Buckingham and, a friend from Scania TruckEast, Andy Ayears. I think the best part of the challenge will be the team morale as there will definitely be some competition between the four of us. Two of us are less fit than the other two who are going – but I wouldn’t want to name names!
This ride will test our teamwork skills, something working within Cawleys has helped develop. Despite the competition between the four of us, I’m sure we will all be very supportive of each other.