This year the Cawleys team is taking to the roads for the Extra Mile Cycle Challenge raising valuable funds for charities CHUMS and Ride High. We’re doing a short series catching up with each of Cawleys team members to see how they are getting on with training and here we talk to Key Account Manager, Dave Buckingham, who will be taking part in the challenge for the eighth time.
How have you been preparing for the race?
Cycling is one of my favourite hobbies, so I do it for most of the year – I love getting out and about on my bike. I’ve recently come back from a week’s cycling in the south of Ireland as part of my training. I took a winter road bike with me as it’s heavier and the tyres are bigger, and I was also carrying all my gear for the week away from home. This was great for my training as, although I never got some amazing speed up, the heaviness of the bike and carrying my belongings helped with endurance. In Ireland I covered 370 miles across the week, and now I’m back home I’ve been taking on five local hills on a route of 33 miles – four of these hills have a climb of over 500ft each!
This is your eighth year doing the race, what do you enjoy about doing the race year after year?
The camaraderie between the Cawleys team and other riders on the challenge is great, but the satisfaction of raising money for some great charities is the thing I enjoy most – the fact that I can raise money at the same time as doing my favourite hobby is just an added bonus.
Do you think having the same Cawleys team as last year will be a benefit to you as a team?
I definitely think having the same team will be a big benefit to us. We all have experience of the previous race which means we’re all prepared for the ride ahead. As much as you can tell people what it will be like, until you’ve done it you can’t even imagine the challenge. During the race we cycle around 45 miles a day, which isn’t a huge amount, but the intensity of the ride and the sharp corners can’t be appreciated until you take part.
Although I do think having the same team will be a great help, I hope Phil doesn’t take a wrong turn again like last year and leave me cycling the road for 25 miles instead of the planned ten!
What was tough about last year’s challenge?
Last year’s ride was the tenth anniversary of our colleague Gary’s passing, who sadly suffered a heart attack while on the Extra Mile Challenge. For me the first day of last year’s ride was tough because of this, but we got through it as a team.
Do you have any worries about this year’s route?
This year’s race is in the Auvergne region of France, which is renowned for being mountainous, so we’re prepared for it to be very hilly. My main worry is the fear of the unknown.
How close is Cawleys relationship with CHUMS and Ride High?
Both CHUMS and Ride High are great charities that have a place in Cawleys’ heart. CHUMS is a bereavement charity that helped Gary’s children after his passing, so is close to us all, while Cawleys has worked with Ride High for some time now, and we love to see the transformation of the young people the charity works with.
Why should someone sponsor the Cawleys Extra Mile team?
In order to keep these two great charities operating they need donations. The work they both do with children is brilliant and looking on their websites you can really see the results.
Also, sponsoring a team of old guys to struggle to cycle up some big hills for three days surely must give you a laugh!