A 50 mile Bike ride from our hospice through the Peak District to Flagg and back, to raise money. The hospice I work for needs to raise 2.7 Million pounds a year on top of local health funding. It provides care for people across the whole of North Derbyshire, at home, or in the inpatient unit as well as a beautiful day centre.
So on a very Sunny Sunday, my little man, his Dad, and 2 other 'lads & their dad's' donned their yellow team shirts & peddled for pounds - along with another 59 cyclists willing to go the miles.
At 11 he was the youngest cyclist, for what was an adult aimed event. It wasn't an easy ride, taking in some of the White Peaks as well as popular spots such as Chatsworth House. The atmosphere was fantastic - as with any group of cyclists there was an air of competition, but also the sense that this was something special. There were people cycling for loved ones, others to support a local charity.
To say I was proud was an underestimation of how I felt. So many people have supported him in fundraising, people I have never met have given generously. Friend's, family & colleagues all wishing him to do well. There was a whole lot of love going on. For me it was also the knowledge that at 11 years he realises he can give, it may not always be easy, but he can make a difference, even now. That life isn't always about him, it's about a mindfulness and awareness of others needs. He gave honestly & simply. That's a big thing in my book of life.
They started as a team of 6 and finished as a team, one of the youngsters struggled, but the togetherness was the deal, and it is sportsmanship at its best. It's not the first time I've seen these growing boys work as a team, there was a moment on a tour in June where one cyclist rather than lap his team mate, put his arm out and pushed him across the line. Giving.
(at the start, before the Sheldon climb....)
And celebrations as we watched the final stages of the Tour de France, the final moments as a man who showed the meaning of teamwork & honesty claimed his rightful win. They say its been the cleanest Tour yet, and what a role model Bradley Wiggins is proving to be. I'll let my 11 year look up to him, Wiggins is nearly as good as his dad & cycling cousin in his eyes.....