From East to West on a Bike

One month from today will be the first day of my big bike ride challenge.

Here is a picture of the approximate route

route map for ride east to west

I start at Lowestoft on Monday June 17th and hope that by tea time on Monday June 24th I will be pedalling into St David’s having done about 400 ish miles. The average daily distance is 60 miles.

The actual route is very very wiggly in order to keep me on quiet roads. I go north and south almost as much as I go west. And that’s before I get lost! I have never done a solo bike trip before and every time I’ve done bike trips in the past I have been blessed by the company of people who either read maps and/or have a good sense of direction. So I have had the joy of pedalling along happily oblivious to where I am or where I have to get to by tea time.

This time I will have to keep my nose up close to the route! I have a detailed set of highly coded instructions, none of which will make any sense at all until I am the place where the direction applies eg ‘at  RB, TL then at Xroads CSO, look out for PH on LHS and BL at T Junc’.  There is a turning every mile or two so if  I miss one it could all go horribly wrong!

Anyway, we shall see.

My other worry is my left ankle. I have been working really hard on strengthening it and I can now run decent distances without it complaining but, ouch, it’s really grumbling after the first long training ride 🙂  Heigh ho, I am committed now (or should be?)

I am doing this ride for two reasons. One, it is an extended ‘retreat on a bike’, a long break from an intense period of activity during our churches’ interregnum and a well-timed moment to step out of the flow and think about directions for the way ahead. (Oh boy, am I ever going to be thinking about ‘directions’).

Secondly, it’s an opportunity to raise money and awareness for a charity we became involved with last year. The  International Justice Mission UK works to free women enslaved in prostitution or families in bonded labour particularly in India. They rescue and rehabilitate as well as work as advocates bringing perpetrators to justice and campaigning for better legal protection for the poor. I was very moved last year to see the hopeless plight of a family trapped in bonded labour in a documentary called ’58’. It powerfully showed the debilitating effect of being trapped, living without any hope for the future and facing only days filled with either hard labour or demeaning abuse.

Here I am with bike in the IMJ t-shirt

DSC_0914 (3)

So if you would like to spur me on, please consider supporting this charity.

Here is the link

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/SheilaBridge

I would like to raise £1,000. All the money goes to the charity, I’m paying all  my own costs for the trip because after all it is, for me, a ‘holiday’!

(If you know me in person/through church and would prefer not to sponsor me online, I will be passing any cash/cheque donations to Casa Re’om which is a project in Mozambique supported by our church, it is a home/school for street children. Here is the link to info about this project http://www.casa-reom.org.uk/)

If you are not able to give (and I know you may well be giving generously to many other good causes) please pray, if you do that kind of thing:  pray my left ankle will hold up and that I won’t get too badly lost along the way.

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