Seven days, 500 miles, 30 bikes. Jenny Marston from Leeds University RAG tells us why she's leading a team of cyclists from Leeds to Paris for breast cancer research.
Ready for a challenge
On Wednesday 15th of June I will be cycling around 500 miles from Leeds to Paris in aid of Breast Cancer Now with a group of 30. This will involve cycling down to Dover, crossing the channel to Calais, and then cycling for three days to finish in Paris. I really enjoy pushing myself, and 7 days of cycling is certainly a challenge! I am also cycling for Breast Cancer Now as I think it is important to give as often as possible.
The team chose to raise money for Breast Cancer Now as we believe it is a very important cause. Some of the team have been affected by breast cancer through people they know, so the charity's goal to stop women dying from breast cancer through funding research means a lot to them.
My team and I have fundraised in numerous and creative ways, including bucket shaking around Leeds University and doing a Spinathon in the union. This involved people cycling on a stationary bike for as long as possible while others raised money.
Getting to know you
I have already got to know the team through fundraising and am really looking forward to spending more time with them on the trip. You really bond over the long days and the pain that goes along with the cycling! The camping is also really enjoyable, apart from the occasional insect and rain, as you get to relax and unwind after a long day of cycling in some beautiful places with great people.
Training has been vital in preparing both myself and the team as a whole for the ride. As well as improving fitness and mentally preparing for what 7-8 hours a day in the saddle will feel like, training rides help the team meet and bond. They are also a great way of getting out of the centre of Leeds and into the beautiful countryside that surrounds it, which is often hard to do without a bike. The longest ride the team has done so far is 50 miles, which, while not as long as most of the days on the trip, does really help to prepare you for what is to come.
I am very excited to be leading this challenge, as it is so worthwhile in terms of personal experience and the important donations we raise for charity. It is great to do something a little different and it's going to be an extraordinary experience.
Inspired by Jenny's story? Find out more about how to get involved in student fundraising.