Before setting off on my cycle across Europe I was convinced that on my return I would not want to sit on a bike seat again for the foreseeable future. It turned out that the opposite was true. Once my sores had healed and I’d purchased a new saddle (in hindsight I should have done this before setting off on a 5600km epic), I was itching to get back on the road again.
Now seems like the ideal time for another adventure for a number of reasons:
- The novelty of having more than two outfits has worn off and the choice of what to wear in the morning is just getting too much.
- I miss being able to eat a huge bar of chocolate every evening.
- I have finally managed to get the last bits of oil and muck out from under my fingernails.
- I’m sick of washing my hair.
88 days of cycling had given me plenty of time to dream up new adventures so I wasn’t short of inspiration. However this time there were more constraints, most significantly that I have to be able to complete it within a standard period of annual leave and ideally that there would be no flying involved. I was also keen to include some trekking in the adventure too. As much as the bicycle is a magical machine there are some places which you can only reach on your own two feet.
And so The Four Peaks dream was born.
I know what you are thinking, ‘Don’t you mean the three peaks?’.
Funnily enough I am capable of counting to four and can assure you that this challenge will indeed contain four peaks. Your usual three, Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis, plus the highest peak in Ireland Carrauntoohill. The plan is to climb all these mountains and cycle between them.
In contrast to my solo Europe cycle I will spend most of the journey cycling with a friend of mine, Miranda. I am very excited about having company but worried about the implications this may have on my levels of personal hygiene. Miranda does have considerably higher standards than myself and I’m pretty sure would never consider not washing her hair for 50 days. However having somebody to keep watch whilst you pee at the side of the road will be invaluable and of course the stimulating conversation and good humour which I am sure she will provide.
Arguably the most important part of this journey for me is that I hope to raise a bit of money for local charity Young Bristol. Young Bristol run a network of Youth Clubs and extra curricular activities in some of Bristol’s most challenging communities. They provide safe places where young people can build confidence, skills and self-esteem whilst having fun and improving their pathway to employment.
In 2014/15 I volunteered on their Instructor Training Scheme which helps young people who are at risk of becoming NEET gain the qualifications and support they need to begin a career in the outdoor industry. I have seen first hand the high quality services that they provide and the impact they can have on young lives. Choosing them as a charity to support really was a no-brainer. And if my bicycle journeys can inspire some of those young people to create their own adventures then that would be an added bonus.
So we reach the crux of this post. If you would like to support myself and Young Bristol on this journey, or you thought the trip I did across Europe was a bit of alright, please spare a penny or a pound and sponsor me here.
And if the opportunity to positively impact young lives isn’t enough incentive, sponsoring me will also give you access to an exclusive competition! But you will have to click on the link to learn more about that 😉