After the success of our inaugural charity bike ride last year, the Danny Fullbrook Fearless Foundation reunited with the Daniel Bagshaw Memorial Trust to tackle the streets and mountains once again. This time, the gear was shifted up as friends and family fearlessly took part in a grueling bike ride up some historic climbs.
Here Fearless Foundation Chairman Mark Dickinson talks about the experience and how much money was raised in honour of the two Dannys.
Hello Mark, so firstly, where did this bike ride take you?
It was a three day cycle from Geneva to Nice. The first day of the ride, June 18th, was the third year anniversary of Danny Fullbrook’s passing. We started at a place called Aix les Baines and then headed south. Day one ended at Serre Chevalier, Day two at Pra Loup and day three on the south east coast of France.
How many took part in the ride?
There were 34 riders and they all had associations with the Fearless Foundation or Dan’s Trust. Daniel Bagshaw passed away at 27 in 2012 during a triathlon in Hong Kong. His charity is focused on raising money to promote and fund research into early diagnosis of cardiac risk in the young and improve treatment methods for sudden cardiac arrest. This is the second bike ride we have done together and we plan to do a third next year – from London to Paris.
So how was it?
In one word, hard. In two words, very hard. The total distance was 450k but the hard part was the climbing, 9,500m of it – that’s the equivalent of Mount Everest. There were a number of iconic climbs which are famous and often featured in the Tour de France – Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier, Col de Vars and Col de la Bonette – which is home to the highest road in Europe.
How do you keep yourself going on a steep climb?
We try to ride as a team to keep spirits up. During the hills we get slightly broken up but we regroup at the top. With something as challenging as this you definitely have to work as a team. There’s lots of chat, jokes and singing – whatever keeps you going. You do visit some strange places in your head and in the solitude I will sometimes think about Danny and other people who play a part in my life.
What would Danny have thought about the ride?
He would think we were completely crazy! I can imagine Daniel Bagshaw would be leading at the front whereas Fullbrook would be at the back trying to get through it. But they would both be very proud that people are raising money in their names to help other people get a leg up in life.
How important are these events for the families?
I think they are massively important for the families of the Dannys. They get an enormous feeling from seeing a group of people putting themselves through a challenging event to raise money for their sons. When we got to Nice we all had dinner together at the end. It gave the parents a chance to chat to people who had done the ride, and also the riders a chance to meet the families.
So, the big question, how much did the bike ride raise?
So far we are somewhere around the £75,000 mark – between the two charities. It is fantastic but our next task is to work out the best way to spend the money and which causes we want to support.
Tell us a bit more about next year’s ride?
We want to make the event slightly less challenging, and more accessible, so more people can do it. Our target is to get 80 people to come and ride. It will be a three day ride from London to Paris but there will be a 100 mile a day option, and a 100k a day option. Hopefully more people feel they can take that on. We have already set the dates and the ride will finish on the third weekend in July on a Saturday with the Tour de France finishing on the Sunday in Paris. That gives us amateurs the chance to have a ride and then have a look at how the professionals do it.
If you would like to make a donation to the charities then you can click here.