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Please support my Ashes challenge

Posted in ECB

Don’t be frightened if you see me wearing lycra at one of the Investec Ashes venues this summer. It’s all for a good cause - honestly!

I have signed up for the Investec Ashes 2013 Cycle Challenge which is a 340-mile ride from Durham to Lord’s via Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and the Oval.

I agreed to get involved before Christmas. Investec, who are our Test sponsors, wanted to do something and chose The Lord’s Taverners as one of the charities they’d like to raise money for.

I am a staunch Taverner, so straight away I was interested. They are a fantastic charity who give disadvantaged and disabled children a sporting chance.

It will be quite a task. We are leaving Durham on July 13 and arrive at Lord’s four days later. That’s a lot of time on the saddle - I might have to attach some memory foam to make it more comfortable.

It’s a while since I have cycled properly. I used to cycle a lot when I was younger as it was a good way to keep fit for cricket and I much preferred it to running.

I started training for this on January 1 and I’m glad I got on the bike so early on. It’s the first serious bit of exercise I have done in two and a half years and, coupled with getting older, I’ve noticed how much harder it is.

I have been doing gym work so far, which involves getting miles into my legs on the exercise bike, and doing weights. I’m trying to build up my stamina as some of the ride will involve steep climbs.

Mike Gatting

The Lord's Taverners do some wonderful work including providing special minibuses like this one at Brownedge St Mary’s High School

On March 25 I will get my bike which means I’ll be able to get out on the road and step up my training. I will ride to work regularly and have mapped out a route from my home to Cambridge and back which is about 100 miles.

One thing I won’t be able to replicate are the hills that we will have to tackle. On the second leg of the ride, as we near Manchester, we will go over the Pennines which involves a climb of more than 400 metres.

It’s great that it ties in with the Ashes. For me, when things get tough on the bike, I can think of the England v Australia matches I’ve played in. Well, the ones I won anyway. That’ll be a nice boost.

I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure there will be a real sense of camaraderie amongst the riders plus there is the incentive of The Lord’s Taverners Eve of Test Dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel to enjoy after we reach the finish line at Lord’s.

There will be a group of 80 of us who will ride the full distance with another 20 riders per leg who will raise money for The Lord’s Taverners.

Do you want to join me on the Investec Ashes 2013 Cycle Challenge? Click here for details on how you can sign up.

If you can’t make it out to ride with me then perhaps you would consider sponsoring me. Every penny donated really will make a difference.

On behalf of the thousands of young people that The Lord’s Taverners give a ‘sporting chance’ in life, thank you!

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