Cycling Challenge

Photo credit: Corrie Hart

This weekend I’ve been out on my bike, for the first time in a long time (we’re talking years). I did a couple of short rides in December but didn’t get very far.

Cycling is very tiring and something out of my normal comfort zone, but it is something I want to do more of – alongside swimming, but can’t do that with the local pool closed because of Covid.

A few weeks ago I saw something on social media and jumped at the opportunity – a challenge to do, and a goal to set myself…

World Autism Awareness Week 2021 is from 29th March – 4th April.

As part of this week the National Autistic Society is doing their “Super 7” fundraising challenge during that week. The number 7 was chosen because there are 700000 (estimated) people in the UK with Autism.

My challenge is to cycle a long distance – to raise money for the National Autistic Society. In the run up to the actual week in which I’ll be doing the challenge (29th March – 4th April), I’ll be aiming to get out on my bike at least once a week, weather permitting of course.

My target – keeping the number 7 in mind – is a minimum of 70km over the course of the week (meaning a minimum of 10km a day). I’ll track my cycling – and my practice routes – on the Strava app on my phone. If I can do more that’s a bonus.

I am not the fittest person in the world, I do no exercise and can not stand sport (apart from Formula 1, but is driving a car really a sport?), so cycling all these miles won’t be easy. I get out of breath on a bike before I get to the end of the road – so my cycling will need frequent stops to eat and drink or just rest. I just hope the weather is good (and ideally I need to find flat routes, hills finish me off).

Hopefully by the time we get to the end of March some easing of the Covid restrictions may have taken place so maybe I can travel to some different interesting locations to cycle (not just in Cirencester), or even cycle with a friend (or two).

The reasons why I am supporting the National Autistic Society are as follows:

  • 1 in 100 people (including myself) are on the spectrum.
  • More than 80% of young autistic people have experienced mental health issues, just as I experienced last year – the NAS campaigns to make things better for autistic people and their families.
  • Only 16% of Autistic people are in full time, permenant employment – This is a shocking statistic and should be much higher!
  • Autistic children are three times more likely to be excluded from mainstream school – more awareness and understanding can change this.

I’ve set up a JustGiving page so please donate what you can!

How much do I hope to raise? I really don’t know what’s achieveable so I’ve set the target to £100. Of course, if I get even close to, or above this, I’ll increase it. It would be great to be able to get £500 or even £1000, but I’ll start small for now and see what support I get first.


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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