Paul Markham and two friends will be cycling from London to Courchevel this month to raise funds for the MS Trust. Paul tells us here why he has chosen to take on this challenge.
I work in the ski industry for a company called Supertravel and spend some of each winter in the Alps. I’ve been talking about riding my bike from London to Courchevel in the French Alps for charity for about four years now, but each year things didn’t quite work out. It’s the company’s 50th birthday this winter so it kind of made sense for us to aim for this year.
I’ve managed to talk two others, Fred Wakefield and Barry Jordan, into the ride and we have two support drivers, Clive and Christine Chappe. We are going to ride the 650 miles in nine days ending in an HC (super category) climb to Courchevel 1850 which they have used in the Tour de France – basically a steep mountain that lasts 15 miles!
We were looking for a charity to support that meant something to us, something that we knew would help. I remember my dad telling me that he had bumped into a school friend of mine and that he was shocked to find out that she had MS. We connected through facebook a while later and I have kept up with her blog over recent years. It was difficult taking in how the condition had affected the girl who used to live on my street, the girl who used to run around my parents’ garden.
I think it’s made us realise that the challenge we will have riding the nine days is small compared to the challenges that people with MS face each day. So at the moment whilst we are dealing with sore legs and a sore bum, that’s our motivation to keep going. We’ve been doing rides of up to 85 miles, including a couple of rides in the Alps. Putting in nine days of that kind of distance is going to be the hard part, but what would be the fun if it was easy?!
Photo L to R: Paul Markham and Barry Jordan