After completing the 2016 Men of Harlech Tour (and not learning my lesson) I was still keen to sign up for the 2017 event. But…this year I was going to be prepared. I was going to take my commitment as a well-oiled* sportsman seriously, no injuries, no unnecessary aches.
After reaching Aberystwyth and resting with my fellow cyclists, day two was going to need a little more care. Another 80 miles and a further 6,000 feet of peddling up and down hills – I chose a more professional approach than an ice cream – I opted for an ice bath. I had read about cold therapy, about how immersing my poor legs in cold water for a short period of time might just get my physical motivation levels going again.
Ooosh – what a shock to the system, but what intense relief after such a beautiful ride. My derriere also felt relief after another day in the saddle, I am sure you will all be pleased to hear.
The most overwhelming part of the day was stopping for a refuel at Ysgol Henry Richard in Tregaron. The students and staff were the picture of hospitality. We were utterly humbled by their support for our plight. The school has a wonderful motto ‘In work there’s profit’ and as we chatted to the team there we recognised their ethos in what they deliver as a wonderful education community. They encourage every pupil to reach their full potential, and this is evident.
The NEETS we are riding to support need this same level of support. It may not be that they have had the opportunity to excel in a traditional classroom environment like most students do – but if the Cardiff City Community Foundation project can help them to develop a similar mindset to Ysgol Henry Richard pupils, then all of this will be worth it.
Tomorrow may be my most emotional blog yet – the downhill slalom. Before I get to write that I really want to give a big shout out to all of the sponsors that have supported this project. Beyond profit and commercial development – you took the time to see your own success could help engender success in those who need the most encouragement to reach it. You are all heroes.
*for well-oiled sportsman read some training has taken place