BIG 5 DIARY
8 - 8
In 2013 Lawrence Sherriffs (a rugby team mate of the organiser of this challenge Simon Storey, and some of the others taking on this challenge) collapsed and died of an undiagnosed heart condition just after playing a game of Rugby. It was later found out that the heart condition he had was called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and is very common among sporty people. Loz was just 41 years old!
So we are raising money in Loz’s memory for the heart muscle charity Cardiomyopathy UK which supports people who have the condition and also those who have been effected by it, it also educates people to know the risks and for what signs to look for. I am hoping to raise about £10,000 as a team which is ambitious but achievable I feel.
We are also riding in memory of another friend who was killed in a cycling accident in early January 2016, Kate Vanloo. Kate was a friend and fellow committee member of Rugby Triathlon Club and also completed the JOGLE we did in 2014 with us. She had a passion for sport and put 150% into everything she did. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Hi, I’m Simon, I live in Leamington Spa with my wife Emma, and our daughter Elise (2). I also have 2 other children Milly (9) and Chloe (5). I am an Installations Manager for Classic Kitchens in Redditch.
I’m a keen sportsman having played rugby at a semi professional level, represented my county and had a Midlands area trial (many years ago now!). I have also completed the Great North Run, London Marathon and after a broken leg and dislocated ankle put an end to my Rugby playing days I cycled from London to Paris. I enjoy taking part in triathlons, running events, cycling events, raft races...... anything that involves a bit of physical activity!!
I’m always looking for a challenge, and having a bit of time on my hands a few years ago I decided to organise a series of cycle challenges which I was fortunate to have some friends join me for. The series was to cycle from coast to coast at the thinnest, widest and longest points of Great Britain and between a total of 13 of us who took part we raised over £14,000 for various charities.
So after a bit of badgering from some of the guys I decided to organise another challenge and I came up with this, The Big 5 Cycle Challenge of Great Britain & Ireland – 650 miles in 5 days
I have a connection with all the guys here, mainly having played Rugby with them or completed challenges with them. Both myself and Bob have played Rugby with Loz, me and Bob are front rowers and Loz was a lock so we were very close. Also Kate had joined us on the coast to coast ride at the longest point of Great Britain – John o Groats to Lands End – where she helped us raise over £10,500 on that challenge alone, she had an infectious smile and a determination beyond belief.
Having organised this challenge I know the generosity of some of our sponsors and I would like to thank them all, especially Northgate Vehicle Hire who have donated a minibus as our support vehicle also my friend Simon Hanagarth and Überdoodle Design for creating this fantastic web site.
I am Chris. I'm 47, and after what lies ahead I think I'll be pleased to see 48. I live in Ealing, West London with my wife Dee and two kids Sasha 11 and Archie 9. I work for a charity, NCVO, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, as their Enterprise Development Manager which in a nut shell is about helping other charities to save money and become more efficient whilst generating income for NCVO.
Bikes have always been an important part of my life - they gave me freedom when I was a kid, and helped me get to school quicker (or leave home later). In my 20's I went on a couple of cycling / camping holidays with a friend in the Brecon's and the Isle of Wight - cycling not only gave me my freedom but was the means to both get around and have a cheap holiday.
In 2008 I took my cycling to another level when I completed the London to Paris ride, 250 miles in 3 days - and this was where I met Si. At this point in time Si was quite new to cycling and quite sane, but this was just the start for him..... So when he organised a series of madcap rides (Thinnest, Widest, Longest starting in 2012 I looked on from the sidelines with a touch of envy, so throwing caution to the wind I signed up to join him and 4 others in 2013 doing the widest stretch - 400 miles fom St Davids to Lowestoft in 4 days. After Si completed the longest (John O'Groats to Lands End in 2014) I thought he might have been satisfied and parked his bike - but no, for 2016 he's dreamed up this new challenge. Now I love a challenge and like to push myself but this is a whole new level for me.
Whilst I hope to have some laughs along the way this isn't going to be a ride in the park...I'm expecting pain, fatigue, more pain and a real test of mental strength to keep going. Whilst I hope to complete this and will give it my all, the prospect of attempting 175 miles in a day after 4 hard days cycling fills me with dread.
So once more to the saddle my friends, wish me luck and please dig deep and bung us a few quid for a great charity supporting people with heart muscle disease.
Hi I'm Dave,
I'm married, 42 years old, a father to 2 wonderful girls and I live in Preston. I'm also very unfit at the minute and the thought of the ride we are undertaking scares the hell out of me right now. Little did I know when I met Simon Storey and roomed with him on a London to Paris Bike Ride in 2008 in aid of the Stroke Association, that 8 years later I would still be lumbered with him pestering me to almost kill myself on a semi regular basis. I can't believe I let him talk me into another of these bloody rides after the pain, misery and heartache of the John O'Groats to Lands End ride that we did together in 2014.
Then I remembered the joy we had when we completed it, the massive sense of acheivement we all felt, the friendships I made and cemented (even you Simon) and the amount of money we raised for a very worthwhile charity. And when I think about it, looking back, I loved every bloody minute of it.
I never knew Loz but I have heard about him from Simon. The thought of losing a friend like Loz, someone who was extremely popular, happy and in the prime of his life and outwardly very fit is a very scary thought. If we can help raise as much money as possible for Cardiomypathy UK in support of research and prevention of the disease, it may go some way to stop this heartache from happening to others.
As mentioned elsewhere, we will also be riding with the memory of Kate Vanloo in our hearts. Kate completed the John O'Groats to Lands End ride with us in 2014 and she is sorely missed by everyone who knew her and had the pleasure with riding with her. If I can just get an ounce of her enthusiasm, grit, determination and positive outlook during the ride, I know I'll be OK.
I am very grateful for all the support and donations that I have received from friends and family over the various rides I have completed and would like to ask just once more (promise....) for you all to dig deep to help us reach our fundraising target. Your donations do honestly spur us on.
I would also like to say a special thank you to Gilkes for their genoristy in sponsoring and supporting us again, Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd - Hydro Turbine Manufacturersﾠ vand also to OTE Sports for their help, support and nutritional advice.
Hi my name is Tony Hough I'm a self employed Level 3 Sports massage therapist & Personal Trainer, i live in Rothwell, Northamptonshire with my partner Alice, I work at Simplygym in kettering, where I put the members through rewarding workouts that are fun & results driven.
I was introduced to the guys last year on another of their challenging (crazy) bike rides which was "John O'Groats to Lands End"....which seemed shear madness from a non biking individual as myself. Well after meeting the guys I felt very impressed with their passion and determination to succeed so I volunteered to go along and help them in my capacity of a massage therapist, to give them some relief from aching & tight muscles.
This year I've volunteered to help the guys once more as well as take part in the ride itself which will be a challenge not only because of the riding miles in store but the hardest challenge will be those seats they are painful .....there has to be a more comfortable way!
Both of these challenges are for a great charity called Cardiomyopathy UK so if you would like to sponsor me or any other of the guys then please do.
Hi, I’m Mark. I live in Northampton and have two amazing boys who are 7 and 9. I am the General Manager of a Trampoline Park called Rush, down in High Wycombe.
Throughout my life I have had an interest in Sport and Exercise, competing in a number of team sports such as Football and Rugby before starting my career. My degree in Sports Science and Business Management led me into Sports Facility Management which for the most part I have stayed and developed in. After graduating and starting work, I got into running and then developed into the multi-sport endurance events such as Triathlons. I have now completed 5 marathons, my most recent being Manchester in April this year. I also have a love for triathlons and my longest event so far is a half Ironman distance triathlon called the Grafman in 2014 and I will be competing in my second half ironman in September this year at the Virtruvian.
I first met Si during running training sessions with Rugby Tri Club and then on a club trip to the Velodrome in Manchester (see picture) he convinced me to become part of the charity bike rides, my first of which was the longest of the ‘Thinest, widest, longest’ challenge! It was a no-brainer, I love cycling and raising money for charity, so this was the perfect challenge to be part of! Riding as part of the John O’Groats to Lands End team was a unique and exhilarating experience, not only raising an amazing sum of money for a fantastic charity, but also cycling with some amazing people and witnessing some of the most beautiful scenery.
Kate Vanloo was a member of the JOGLE team and who was a friend that I met through Rugby Triathlon Club, and who was sadly taken from us doing what she loved, cycling. Kate was such a genuine person who had a real love for life and cycling, and will be thought of and remembered throughout this new challenge. I didn’t know Loz, but as someone who has played rugby, I understand the friendship and bond between players and therefore the loss that is felt from the guys who knew him.
I was convinced/coerced to get back on the saddle and be part of the team for the Big 5 at Si and Emma’s wedding earlier this year, so with little time to prepare or raise money I am on ‘catch up’ mode. I know I have hounded and pestered many of you in the past, and I am so grateful for everyone that has donated towards events that I have taken part in, but please dig deep in your hearts and pockets, to help me and the team raise money for this amazing charity.
This charity that we are raising money for is also important to me, as I used to work as a Cardiac Rehab Instructor. I worked with many people who were fortunate enough to have survived cardiac events and therefore the Cardiomyopathy charity is close to my heart too!
I am Struan. I'm 48 and I'm starting to think these challenges I keep doing are not getting any easier with age and there intensity. I live in Coalville with my wife Maria and have worked for the prison service for the last 20 years. I come from a swimming back ground having swam for the city of Derby in my youth reaching the dizzy heights of captain. I'm currently looking for a new swimming club after having had a break from training after reaching Lands End in 2014 on the last of
One of my greatest achievements in swimming has been competing in both New York (2011) and Belfast (2013) in the World Police and Fire games collecting 11 medals.
This will be my fourth of Simon's challenges after cycling the Thinnest,Widest and Longest point's of Great Britain. Each have been very challenging in their own ways. This one will be difficult especially with the ferry crossings late at night when we will just want our beds and not forgetting the 175 miles to London on the last day, if we don't get lost that is!!!
My inspiration for these challenges comes from having broken two bones in my neck in 2010 in a cycle accident and wanting to do things for others after I was so lucky. I heard of Simon's first challenge in 2011 to cycle from Whitehaven to Tynemouth in a single day (150 miles) and thought I would have a go. Since then I have not wanted to miss one of his well organised challenges. Raising money for the different charities along the way has been really important, with each one we have supported has been because of something or someone close to us. This one is no different with Loz having been part of the groups close friend. We are also riding in memory of Kate Vanloo who joined us on our trip from John O Groats to Lands end in 2014 who sadly died this year in a cycle accident. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.
Cardiomyopathy is a very worthy charity which does some fantastic work/support. I am very grateful for the donations and support I have received from both friends and family during the previous rides but would again ask if you could dig deep and support me to hit our fundraising target. Your donations help so much when I'm out there training.
As the group well know cycling is not my most favourite past time and I only really get back on the bike for challenges like this one.
We are raising money for the heart muscle charity Cardiomyopathy UK which supports people who have the condition and also those who have been effected by it, it also educates people to know the risks and for what signs to look for. I am hoping to raise about £10,000 as a team which is ambitious but achievable I feel.
Please click the 'Donate Now' button to be taken through to JustGiving where you can make your donation.
If you are a business and would like to sponsor us, please get in touch with Simon Storey - firstname.lastname@example.org