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Ready, steady, go!

It is hard to believe that 17 weeks have passed since training started. This has been one of the most challenging LifeCycle editions to put together. Our main sponsor Actavis was keen for us to go to Japan but finding free accommodation and navigating the strict road regulations to get permission for the challenge to take place were a real headache.

Our saviour was Professor Rei Shiratori, president of the Institute for Political Studies in Japan, who managed to get us in touch with the right people. As a result, we managed to secure free accommodation for almost every day of the two-week challenge – something which is apparently unheard of.

Other challenges were not as easy to overcome. We did not get permission to put up signs even though we always scrupulously remove every single one, even picking up the snipped pieces of cables ties from the ground... We normally put up (and take down) hundreds of these every day. Without them, the cyclists will have to rely on their Garmin GPS and the detailed route cards painstakingly prepared by Vince Scerri. With several huge towns to navigate, we are preparing ourselves for the inevitability that cyclists will get lost.

And when you are facing at least eight to 10 hours on the bike, every single kilometre counts. One day will set a record for LifeCycle with 274km to cover – over 14 hours. It is going to be a very, very long day.

And the rules are that cyclists cannot ride abreast of each other, or listen to music with earphones. These are going to be lonely days for our team.

For the cyclists, the administrative problems were irrelevant: they knew that the committee and back-up team would sort them out. All they needed to do was get through the gruelling training, gradually stepping up the number of kilometres they had to do every week until they were cycling through the night to get enough hours to still be able to work or look after family.

The excitement will be tinged with anxiety and emotion. We will be living together round the clock, coping with injuries, stress, aches and pains, never-ending unanticipated problems, rain (hopefully no typhoons!) and cold, people getting lost and the kitchen team trying to cope without gas hobs to cook on.

What keeps us all going? The thought of the 260 patients at the Renal Unit, who must spend four hours every other day on dialysis. Only 80 of them are eligible for organ transplants and only around 15 of them every year are fortunate enough to get a suitable match. They are why we are tackling this 16th edition, knowing that the millions of euro we raised so far have made a huge difference to their lives.

You don’t need to cycle 2,000km to help. Just donate!

SMS these numbers:
5061 7370 €2.33
5061 8920 €6.99
5061 9229 €11.65

Call these numbers:
5160 2020 €10.00
5170 2005 €15.00
5180 2006 €25.00

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