Don’t blame it on the boogie, blame it on the bike!!

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Easter may have whizzed by but I bet quite a few of you are still feeling sick from eating too much chocolate.  Jeans got a bit tight?  Be kind to yourself.  Most of us wolf down more cholesterol in a month than the rest of the year put together.  This is an unverified fact, by the way.

I don’t know of a single person who says they don’t like chocolate.  As babies, my kids both smiled sweetly the moment it touched their lips for the first time.  A nurse friend recommended it when you have a throat like the bottom of a bird cage.  So it’s medicinal as well as scrumptious.  That’s another unverified fact….

Anyway, I’m having my own pity party this Easter as chocolate was definitely out.  I’m in serious training now for my latest challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK.  To get myself fit enough for my Race 100 cycling challenge in May, I have to watch what I’m eating to help max out my training regime.  Chocolate is just one of the many sacrifices.  I draw the line at wine but that’s a story for another day.

So while you lot are still filling your boots with fabulous hunks of chocolate, think of me and my husband Simon pounding away up and down Dartmoor terrain or pedaling away on our static bikes in the garage if wet.  And then there are the spinning classes, running and sessions in the gym to build up the necessary strength…..But it will be worth it.  The generosity of all you skittlers on our weekends away, bowls me over all the time.

So why do I do it?  Well, cancer has hit my family hard.  And of course we’re not alone.  In the past few weeks, we’ve learned that the Princess of Wales has cancer, as does her father-in-law the King.  I’ve been thinking of Prince William too, finding himself supporting not only his wife and their young children, but his father too.  Cancer is one of life’s most cruel lotteries but thanks to the work of charities like Cancer Research UK, early detection, higher recovery rates and more sophisticated treatments are making a massive difference.

That’s exactly why I put myself through some kind of personal hell every two years, wanting to do my part in making that difference.  I worked out early on that your generosity increased knowing my challenges involve conquering fears and phobias.  There’s quite a long list – and we’re not talking just spiders and snakes.  I’m terrified of heights, suffer from vertigo, altitude sickness, I loathe camping and I’m terrified of cycling in busy streets.  Oh and I have fixation issues when I’m running or cycling.  I see an obstacle coming up, panic and somehow manage to collide with it instead of avoiding it.

So let me tell you more about Race 100 and why it will be such a monumental challenge.  It’s one of the most successful London 2012 Olympics legacy events, involving cycling 100 miles in a day.  In simple terms that’s the equivalent of biking from London to Stonehenge, if the mood should take you.  The route for the race begins on London’s Embankment – they do stop the traffic for us – and finishes in Essex.  It includes a gruelling climb up the infamous Box Hill which rises nearly 400 feet.

And there’s another catch.  A very big catch.  We have to complete the race in eight hours. A breeze no doubt for those who competed in those memorable Olympics, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome.  But it’s going to be incredibly tough for us.  I’d place a modest bet on the fact that Bradley and his mates never suffered from my fixation issues.

Seven years ago, Simon and I completed a 95-mile London to Paris cycle ride in aid of CRUK (see pic below).  We did it in one long day but it involved lots of café stops and a lunch break.  Plus of course there was a bit of respite crossing the Channel.  We could hardly walk for a week afterwards but it was an amazing experience.

This new challenge will be something special, cycling in the tyre tracks of some of the greatest cyclists of all time. Biking up Box Hill will be super tough, and doing the 100 miles in just eight bours, right now, seems impossible.  But we will do our very best.

Another probably unverified fact is that the ratio between cycling and running is about 3:1.  Which means we’re cycling the equivalent of running in excess of a marathon. I almost wish I hadn’t discovered that!  I’ve run two marathons for CRUK, one in London and the other in New York.  Believe me, there are no words to describe hitting the proverbial wall…..

Our training schedule is meticulously mapped out until the big day – Sunday May 26.  Even on skittles weekends, I’ll have done a turbo session in the garage before coming over to your hotel.  So if I look like I’m flagging a bit on the dance floor late on Friday and Saturday nights, don’t blame it on the boogie, blame it on the bike.

Meanwhile, I’ve popped my Easter eggs at the very back of the kitchen cupboard ready a chocolate bonanza at the end of May when I’ve recovered sufficient strength to rip open the packaging.

If you’d like to donate my page, please visit or watch out for the bucket runs at our weekends!  Every penny helps believe me as well as your support and good wishes.