A shop owner from Eastbourne is taking part in a 300-mile bike ride across India to raise money for charity.
Carolyn Thompson, owner of Deck the Halls in South Street, will join 100 other women for the charity ride to help raise money to fight premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, and ovarian cancer.
I have never been to India so I’m excited to be seeing the country especially the bits off the beaten track hopefully meeting some of the local people and as Kerala is the spice region I am looking forward to the food, whilst avoiding the water at all costs.Carolyn Thompson
The cycle challenge will take place in October and participants will cover 300 miles across five days with a group called Women for Women.
This is Carolyn’s second gruelling bike ride for this worthy cause.
Her first Women for Women challenge took place in Jordan in 2009 as she approached her 50th birthday.
She said, “I swore it was a one off event, but here we are in 2015. “
On her last challenge Carolyn raised more than £2,500 and this time she will need to raise more than £3,000.
She is covering her personal costs herself so all donations will go direct to the charity.
She said, “In doing a second big challenge like this at least you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
“It was so much harder than I thought it would be, it was far hillier and also much hotter than was expected for the time of year.
“Many of us, me included , were ill with a sickness virus adding to the struggle.
“Being with a group of women, none of whom I had met before, was amazing.
“Everyone supported each other and it was never competitive, you just wanted everyone to make it to the end together.
“We would always stop and help anyone who needed it even if it was just to ride or sometimes walk with them for a while or hand over some of your Imodium!
“We had a great team following us with bike mechanics there to untangle our gears and patch up our tyres and doctors riding with us dishing out advice, medication to help keep us riding through sickness and treating shredded arms and legs after crashes.
“I trained hard for this first challenge but still it was not enough for what the journey threw at me I could hold a good pace on the flat but I was rubbish going uphill, yours legs go weak, your head pounds, even your wrists ache.
“When it gets too much and you have run out of puff and run out of gears on the bike to go down to, you just get off and push the bike up the hill for a while.
“The desert heat takes its toll too. For this India challenge I am expecting the same again, plenty of hills though with higher humidity and a bit less sand.
“I have never been to India so I’m excited to be seeing the country especially the bits off the beaten track hopefully meeting some of the local people and as Kerala is the spice region I am looking forward to the food, whilst avoiding the water at all costs.”
Carolyn’s training has started.
She needs to be able to cover 50 miles a day to be able to complete the challenge in October. She is currently managing 25 mile rides and will be increasing her stamina over the coming months.
To sponsor Carolyn visit www.justgiving.com/Carolyn-Lindsey-Thompson.
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