If you are a reader of Cycling Active magazine and have an ability to spot detail amongst all the bike-related info., you may have noticed a mention of Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie in the July edition of the magazine that came out last week. In a regular feature entitled ‘My Ride Mates‘, Jon Joynes notes that he first came across his own cycling friend – Trevor Woodford – through a mutual following of me on Twitter. Finally! Twitter has found a real purpose in life…
The friendship between Jon & Trevor has blossomed and, along with three other friends they are embarking upon a European cycling odyssey of their own passing through no fewer than ten countries. That may sound familiar to some of you as my own trip from Greece to Portugal in July & August will take in ten countries but there is a key difference between our respective adventures; I will be stretching mine over a leisurely two months whereas Jon, Trevor and their cycling colleagues will be attempting the feat in just ten days! Jon sums it up quite well in the article for Cycling Active;
“We’ll start our ride in England then – not necessarily in this order – we’ll go to Holland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy. The distances each day are going to vary. Day one is likely to be 100 miles but with only 400 or 500 feet of climbing. But the last day will be 60 miles with 8,000 to 9,000 feet of climbing. We’re going to finish with a ride up to the Madonna del Ghisallo – one of the most famous hills used in the Giro d’Italia. The total mileage for our challenge will be somewhere between 700 and 800 miles.”
When I read the article, my ears pricked up at this point as when I cycled to southern Italy back in 2010, I travelled within a few miles of the church of the Madonna del Ghisallo but never paid it a visit. She gets a mention later in Good Vibrations;
“There is a patron saint of cyclists. She is called the Madonna del Ghisallo and had I known this on the day that I was passing through Como a few weeks earlier, I would have paid her small church in a place called Magréglio a visit. It is, apparently, quite a tourist attraction for passing cyclists (who know about it) and is filled with cycling banners and even bikes in memorial to those who have perished on the roads. This being the 21st century, the Madonna del Ghisallo has a Facebook page all of her own, but then again, so does Reggie.“
Jon & Trevor’s cycling challenge is for a very worthy cause; Cyclists Fighting Cancer. Trevor himself is a survivor of cancer and I would urge you to follow this link to the website of the charity and spend a few moments finding out about the kinds of things the charity is doing to help make the lives of children who are suffering from cancer just a little bit more enjoyable with the help of two or sometimes three wheels. Trevor also has a Just Giving page if you would like to support the team’s efforts.
Here are a few more details of the ride provided by the team’s official press release:
“OUR TEAM AND OUR CHALLENGE:
On the 8th June 2013 our team of four riders & one support driver will be leaving the UK in an attempt to cycle through ten countries in ten days – the route we have chosen will mean that we will be cycling up to 100 miles a day and as if to make the ride even more of a challenge the combined age of our team is over 300 years. Yes, three of the team are OAPs and two of those are cyclists….(see below)
The grand finale of the ride will be the signature climb of the Giro Di Lombardia from Bellagio on the shores of Lake Como up to the Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo..known as the ‘cyclists chapel’.
We will be following a linear route and we will be passing through the following countries:- England – France – Belgium – The Netherlands – Germany – Luxembourg – Switzerland – Lichtenstein – Austria – Italy. As well as our destination, other highlights of the route will include the Swiss and Italian Alps.
The team members are:-
*TREVOR WOODFORD (cyclist) age 65
*JOHN DONOGHUE (cyclist) age 59
*JON JOYNES (cyclist) age 42
*LORENZO MARASPIN (cyclist) age 66
*DAVID VAUGHAN (support driver) age 70
We all love cycling and are positive that with your help we can make a difference for children and young people whose lives have been affected by cancer…..
You will be able to follow our training preparations and progress during the ride by visiting my blog:- www.purpletraveller.blogspot.com
There is a link on the blog to our team Just Giving page or you can go there direct on www.justgiving.com/tencountries“
Good luck to Jon, Trevor & the team. I will endeavour to keep you updated on their trip through regular retweeting & perhaps one or two posts here on CyclingEurope.org.
As one of the cyclists on this trip I have already donated a Kidney six years ago if I can do it you can do it. Never Give up Just make the Difference to those less fortunate than yourself John Donoghue
Good luck John!