Tony Nicklin – 2000km from London to Valencia on a bike for a swim
A cunning plan was hatched nearly 7 years ago whilst sitting with my long time friend Simon on a bench in Richmond Park London. I was on holiday with Ann, my wife, apprehensively preparing ourselves for my scheduled radical prostectomy surgery and whatever laid ahead.
The challenge was duly laid down and accepted that all things being equal we, Simon and I, would one day ride from Simons place in London to his place in Spain.
Well, despite early detection with regular annual checks, the surgery revealed that my cancer had already spread beyond the Prostate. So 2 months of radiotherapy, 3 rounds of further, what I call repairs and maintenance, surgery and 4 stagings of intermittent Hormone therapy with all the associated side effects, 2013 was the year I was able to take up our challenge.
Four other friends were quick to join us and so we embarked on our cycling adventure armed with a map of the wine regions, a credit card and not much else. The idea was that we would not pre book accommodation stay at small hotels, B & Bs, eat and drink local, hardly a hardship in France and Spain and cycle approximately 80km per day to suit the slowest person which was me due to my treatment
So after 4 weeks and over 2000km we arrived at the Mediterranean for a well earned swim
We decided to use the opportunity to help raise awareness and a little money for Blue September and surprised ourselves raising over $14.000
I am living proof that regular checks ups pay enormous dividends as I had no noticeable side effects before detection and if I had waited until I did, the cunning plan would have remained just that, a dream.
As I say to all my male friends, colleagues and acquaintances who often look after their cars better than their own personal health “Go get the checks “ – Don’t get hung up on the possible side effects as you need to be alive to have them.