In June 2020, 46 supporters of The Cure Parkinson's (CPT) including CPT Patron Mike Tindall MBE and fellow Rugby World Cup winner Iain Balshaw MBE will be taking on the legendary Raid Alpine to raise vital funds for CPT’s search for a cure for Parkinson’s.
In this extreme test of endurance, over 6 days, the Raid Alpine will take cyclists from the shores of Lake Geneva, 800km and 19,000m of climbing across the Alps, to Nice.
Taking on this challenge, are a team of four, from Gloucestershire, collectively known as The Cyclopaths. The Cyclopaths (20 people in total) have raised over £50,000 for The Cure Parkinson's Trust by undertaking cycle challenges across Vietnam and Cambodia and from Land's End to John O'Groats in the past couple of years.
The Raid Alpine challenge is on a different scale, explains Alison Anderson, one of the original Cyclopaths. Alison has lived with Parkinson's for five years and feels this challenge will push her to the absolute limits of her physical capability. The difference between this challenge and our previous ones are the Alps, she explains! Over 6 days, we will climb over twice the height of Everest, whilst also cycling up to 157km a day. The climbs include some of the iconic cols which feature in the 2020 Tour de France.
The time and dedication needed to train for this event are immense and this is why we are a much smaller team this year. The Cyclopath's team includes John (Alison's husband), Roland (a colleague and friend) and Ewan (Alison's sister's partner). Training is already well underway. We are cycling hundreds of kilometers each week, usually out on the road but when the weather is at it's worst, we use an indoor turbo trainer instead. We are also training in the gym, yoga and pilates studio, and we continue doing other activities such as boxing, walking, squash and swimming. We are each focussing on being at our best possible level of physical fitness with the right mental attitude by the time the challenge starts. If that isn't daunting enough, there are multiple added challenges that living with Parkinson's brings, such as problems with balance, co ordination, fatigue, muscle and joint stiffness, muscle cramps and pain, and reduced power and fine movement in arms and legs. No one ever said it would be easy!
To find out more, our blog can be found at: https://theramblingsofacyclopath.com
Knowing how hard the challenge is and how time consuming the training will be, I am so immensely grateful to everyone who has commited to take part. The potential to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson's gives people like me, living with a progressive, degenerative neurological condition, a real sense of hope. Hope is a very precious gift to give. Thank you Raiders, thank you CPT and thank you to each and every one of you who donates to this cause.
All donations will go to CPT. Please support us in this extreme challenge and help consign Parkinson’s to medical history.