Our MD pulls out the lycra again
So, Neil our MD, has decided to pull on that mid-40s lycra once more, and be a generally great chap by riding 22km up Mont Ventoux in France next week, to raise money for two brilliant charities close to our hearts here at e3: Charlie's Angels & Brain Tumour Research.
Charlie's Angels is a charity set up in memory of Charlie White, the nephew of e3's Tris, who was sadly diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in April 2012 – he was 2 ½ years old. After coping with all his treatment, he lost his battle and died peacefully at home in his Mummy’s bed on New Year’s Eve, 2012. He was such a brave little boy and inspired everyone who came into contact with him.
After Charlie passed away, his family and friends set up a Brain Tumour Research umbrella group called Charlie’s Angels. They run fund-raising events throughout the year, where all proceeds go to the charity Brain Tumour Research. Charlie’s uncle, Tris, is a much loved member of the e3 family and the moving story he told of his nephew’s brave battle moved all of us to want to do more to help, and to honour the memory of brave little Charlie.
Neil is not entirely built to easily ascend mountains like a whippet on heat – at nearly 6’3" and nearly 16st, the challenge will be arduous. He tells us it will take 3 hours for the single ascent and 8 hours for the double ascent, expecting 35 degree heat and winds of over 50mph – should be a trip.
The challenge and more
To stretch the challenge even further, Neil’s promised that if we manage to raise £2,740, he’ll commit to riding up Mont Ventoux twice – hence ‘Venttwo’! £2740 is how much it costs to run the brain tumour research laboratory in Portsmouth for a day.
Ventoux is one of the most famous mountains in cycling. A regular feature of the Tour de France, Ventoux rises to 6,273ft, nearly twice as high as any mountain in the UK. The average gradient of Mont Ventoux is about 7.5%, which Neil assures us non-cycling experts is STEEP.
A testing place for heroes
In his own inimitable, flamboyant style, Neil chose to quote Roland Barthes, French philosopher and bicycle racing fan, whilst relaying his news to the e3 team in the Monday morning meeting:
"Physically, the Ventoux is dreadful. Bald, it's the spirit of dry: its climate (it is much more an essence of climate than a geographic place) makes it a damned terrain, a testing place for heroes, something like a higher hell."
Of course, we’re all really proud of him and have dug deep to sponsor him for such a fantastic cause - you can read more about his challenge here (and sponsor him if you like; he’d be dead chuffed):
A testing place for heroes? Go Neil.