I’m quite excited to do something in these difficult times to contribute to the well being of those people on the front line fight against corona via “Stichting Zorg na Werk in Coronazorg (ZWiC)”. The cycling challenge itself is called the “Helden Ride” (Heros Ride) and is described as a virtual ‘tour’ of the Netherlands.
There are two challenges on offer: the 500km “Intense Challenge” and the 1000 km “Epic Challenge”. I’ve chosen to take on the 1000 km version to push myself. I normally cycle around 2700 km per year, so 1000 km cycling in 8 weeks will definitely be a stretch, not so much in terms of the distance but rather in finding the time and discipline. I normally cycle anywhere between 50-120 km on a Sunday and then 20-30 km during the week. In this case I have to be disciplined enough to cycle at least 60 km on Sunday and then 2×30 km during the week. In theory it sounds likely enough, but I know that to maintain that kind of discipline for 8 weeks, given other commitments and time requirements, will be the real challenge.
So this is where you can help me by sponsoring my ride. Please go to the sponsoring page of the Helden Ride website and search (CTRL-F/CMD-F) for my name “Robert Howe” amongst the participants. Let’s see just how much we can raise to show our appreciation of those healthcare professionals who put themselves at risk everyday, looking after the poor souls felled by COVID-19.
In return I will write about my experience of the challenge and let you know how I’m progressing. I plan to ride both indoors and outdoors to complete the distance. Indoors, making use of my Trek Damone SL7 race bike mounted on a Tacx Flux trainer and using the Zwift virtual reality cycling environment. Outdoors, with either the Damone or my Trek Fuel EX 8 mountain bike. I’ll collect all the data from my rides in Strava and also upload the ride data to the “heldenride” website. Tomorrow (1st May) is the first day of the challenge, so I’ll see about knocking off 30 km as a first leg.
I’m greatly looking forward to participating and completing this challenge. I hope you will encourage and support me along the way, and sponsor my efforts for our “Helden in de Zorg”, Dutch healthcare workers.