danielbarnes

31 / M / Lambeth

On the 11th July i will be joining around 6000 other riders to have a crack at riding stage 19 of this year's Tour de France, Modane Valfréjus to the summit of Alpe-d’Huez, some 109km in one of the hardest stages in road racing. Last year, 2000 of the riders who entered failed to finish. "You must be super fit and prepared for that" you say? "Err no, but something will happen between now and July which surely will mean I will be". Probably...

The aim of the ride is obviosuly to finish, but I am also hoping to raise a good amount of money and awareness for some charities that have recently become major causes in my life along the way. As many of you know a very close friend, Dan Cox, was killed earlier this year when a lorry turned across him at Dalston Junction in East London.

Sadly Dan later died from his injuries, despite the best efforts of those at the intensive care unit at the Royal London Hospital where he was taken. Dan put up an amazing fight that was equally matched by the medical team around him, and he unquestionably received the best care available. For that reason I will be raising money for Barts and the London Charity to help ensure other people are afforded the same chance.

I will also be supporting the London Cycling Campaign that aims to improve the safety of cyclists on the road in the capital. Tragically, collisions like Dan's are far from isolated and are far more commonplace than they need to be. With improved education (for cyclists and drivers alike), and improved safety measures (such as blind-spot mirrors), the number of people killed and injured on the roads could be greatly reduced. But campaigns like this obviously cost money, something you can hopefully help me contribute to.

I have also been at the sharp end of an accident myself, being involved in a hit-and run in 2009 (the hit not the run). It's required surgery to both shoulders, titanium plates, superglue, a variety of screws, an arm brace and 18 months of physio. This event will make almost exactly the two year anniversary of everything been stopped short for me, and hopefully begin a period of my life without medical intervention (questionable considering my cycle-related history). And I know that Dan would have whole-heartedly approved of the mix of inflated self-confidence, laise-faire planning, half-arsed training and dietry preparation to which I have undertaken this ride. And especially the necessity for wearing lycra bib shorts, which I will be reluctantly be pulling on many times in the next few months.

So please give whatever you can, whenever you can and help me get this out and about to raise some cash and awareness for the charities I'm supporting. And I will also need lots of non-monetary support (the best kind) in preparing and training to drag myself over a sizeable lump of France, so get involved cyclists and non-cyclist alike!