It sounded like a good number

240 Miles for Brookie Part 1

You would think Part 1 would begin on Day one of the challenge, Tour de Yorkshire Sportive on 30th April 2017, well you’d be wrong.

I want to start by telling you a little about ‘Brookie’ and why I chose to challenge myself now, at this time, and why fundraise for Melanoma UK.

… don’t worry I won’t go all deep on you, I bore even myself with that stuff …

Elaine (my Brookie)
I have told you a little about Elaine before (click here). We grew up together, meeting when we were about 3 years old at nursery school. Who knew then that this ginner haired, freckled face, nhs glasses wearing, snot nose kid (she didn’t really have snot because there is no way I was being friends with a snotty kid!) would still be my bosom buddy today.

No one asks to get ill. Elaine didn’t ask to be ravished by the ugliness that is Melanoma (skin cancer).
BUT whether you ask for it or not, whether you expect it or not, that B*st*rd of a disease they call cancer can creep up on you and attempt to change your life and the way you live it forever.

courage to fight, strength to fight and keep on fighting day after day,
I am in awe of Elaine

Elaine’s strength, stamina and sheer bloody mindedness over these painful years to beat this tyrant, is a feat to behold. This crippling disease has done its utmost to change Elaine’s life BUT she, as a steadfast courageous woman is having none of it.

A positive circle
Elaine’s strength of mind and character is a wonder. As is the strength of support in the family and friends around her.

Her soon to be husband, Mark, is simply a wonderful fellow (that’s why I’m letting him marry my Brookie!) Steadfast, loyal and true. He truly is a column of loving support for Elaine.

Jen, oh our little Jen, Elaine’s younger sister. As I’ve mentioned, we all grow up together. Elaine and I being friends and Jen and my sister Kathryn being buddies together.

Jen, you would think her nickname might be something like jenny wren BUT oh no, and she’s going to hate me for this BUT #butwillbeworthit, we used to call her ‘Jenny Bird Dirt’!!
… sorry self indulgent bit … I was laughing as I wrote that … she going to be cross! … sorry, laughing again!!
Whilst we were ‘playing out’ (something kids used to do in olden days) she put her hand on a wall, right into a big pile of bird poo and that was it, kids (or rather me) never miss an opportunity to be mean to little sisters.

…and yes, she ‘got me done’ by her mum for calling her names, BUT it stuck …..

Jen is there every step of the way for Elaine, going on appointments when Mark can’t, on the end of the phone, meeting up and wedding planning. Another unwavering pillar for Elaine to lean on.

It’s very hard watching our loved ones suffer. You scream inside your own head and wish you could take the pain way from them BUT you can’t and you feel so helpless.

Why the challenge
I told Elaine I was going to do a cycling challenge and I wanted to do it in her name so would she nominate who I should cycle for. Without even taking breath she said Melanoma UK. Elaine has nothing but admiration for Gillian Nuttall who founded the charity and what the charity stands for and does to help melanoma sufferers and their families.

Please take time to click on this link Melanoma UK to see and read about the great work that this fabulous organisation carries out.

Tour de Yorkshire Sportive challenge
I have always followed cycling. And when I say followed, it wasn’t on a bike, it was from the comforts of my settee. Last year I started my fitness blog to encourage and embarrass myself into getting some sort of fitness. To feel healthier and happier about myself.

I had wanted to take part in last year’s Tour de Yorkshire in Scarborough BUT was no way fit enough or had courage enough to enter. We did drive over to see the finish, taking our bikes with us and having a little ride along the sea front. I got talking to a guy who had just finished the sportive. Round his neck hung a fabulous looking medal, a back cassette with moving parts!, I wanted one! It was a brilliant medal.

…… why did I want to do the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive …. For the medal

Oh and an email from Maserati saying book now it’s cheaper! When I eventually did sign up for the sportive I think my first words after, oh sh*t, were, ‘bet next years medal is crap’.

Wakefield to Bedford challenge
I always had in mind that if and when I ever got fit I would like to cycle to Elaine’s. It’s hard to tell someone how much you love and care for them when you are a bit of a sh*t friend. Meaning I hide away a lot, self absorbed in my own self pity. Pity and self absorption I have no reason or right to have.

I thought by cycling to Elaine’s that it may somehow let her know what she means to me and how sorry I am for being a crap friend.

On reflection, it would have been much easier to just open my mouth and speak it to her BUT I suppose I am too much of a coward for that. Funny isn’t it, the things you are able to write but unable to say.

240 miles for Brookie
It just sounded like a good number!

I don’t know what came over me when I decided to put the two challenges together BUT that’s what I did.

I got the map out and had a quick look, TdY Sportive is about so far, Sheffield to Bedford’s about so far, humm that’s an odd looking number, I know, I’ll round it up, 240 looks good. Never though of how I would actually achieve the distance!

… and that’s how 240 miles for Brookie came to be …

240 miles? 240 miles!? Why 240 miles!!??
…..‘next time you want to do a challenge just put, riding from Home to Bedford, don’t put a mileage down then you can ride the shortest distance’….. ‘240 miles!?’

….Come on then……

You can still donate to ‘240 miles for Brookie’ for Melanoma UK via my just giving page. Whilst you keep donating I will keep doing the ‘dedication miles’ in way of thanks for your wonderful support for me, Elaine and Melanoma UK.

Thank you
Thank you to everyone for your continued support and for reading my blurb.

Cycle safe, wear your helmet, be happy and smile
Jo x


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