The MS Trust has a fantastic opportunity to raise funds next year as we have been named the official charity partner for the special Tour de France edition London to Paris cycle ride! We are looking for 50 cyclists to join our team and raise sponsorship to help us support people with MS. Joe Hill, who took part in the ride this year with three of his friends, tells us why he decided to take on the 300 mile journey.
Everyone tells you that MS affects each person differently - both those diagnosed with the condition and their closest friends and family.
While everyone tells you this, they don’t tell you how to deal with it. My way of dealing with my wife being diagnosed was getting my three closest friends to agree to cycle to Paris with me and signing us up for the ride.
Selfishly, I wanted to do something that made me feel like I was contributing. I wanted to feel like I was helping with what my wife was going through. Physically I felt I could only do so much to help her through a relapse and mentally I felt I could do even less.
Only two of us had bikes in January and with the ride in July we all thought it would be tough. I found the training a big commitment but relatively easy, most of it was time spent riding with and talking to friends (not doing it on your own makes it easier) and the hours were worth it in the end.
The fundraising was daunting but we were lucky with everyone’s generosity raising around £10,000 which was so far past any target we set. Most of this was through sponsorship but friends helped us organise a BBQ and raffle which raised over £1,000.
The ride itself was incredible. It was so well organised by the fantastic team at Skyline with loads of support from the crew and other riders. There were a couple of tough days at the start filled with hills and 39 degree heat, but you get to enjoy great views and a great route throughout.
Afterwards the sense of achievement and knowing we had raised so much money for the MS Trust meant that all the hard work had paid off.
I’d really recommend signing up as this is a great ride raising money for a great charity!