For a man who cycled around the world and is in training for a 2,000-mile ride in the USA taking part in the mile Dalmatian Bike Ride will be a piece of cake right?
Chris Daniel, aged 55, who gave up his Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) job to tackle a round the world challenge in memory of his late wife Rita, has signed up for the Gwent event.
Rita was diagnosed with bowel cancer, aged 48 and succumbed to the disease aged 53, in April 2016.
Chris says he is taking part in the annual Dalmatian Bike ride in aid of St David’s Hospice Care after receiving such great support for his ride when in Newport.
The Acorn Dalmatian Bike Ride 2019 is on Saturday, June 8. There are four routes on offer, 24, 37, 45 and 58 miles. The event has so far raised £216,000 for Newport based St David’s Hospice Care over seven years.
Organiser Dave Rees said:
“We are thrilled and honoured that Chris has agreed to join us on the Dalmatian Bike Ride in 2019. The ride is building momentum over the years and we’re hoping for a bumper entry this year to help us to reach our target of £250,000.”
Chris, of Dowlais Top, Merthyr Tydfil, said:
“I had fantastic support from the people of Newport on the four weeks that I rode there as part of my ride and loads of people who rode with me when I was in Newport told me about this ride. It seemed such a great cause and a good way to catch up with people that had been so good to me.
“The Dalmatian Bike Ride has a great reputation. I’m looking forward to a fantastic course, catching up with old friends and making new ones.”
Chris is currently training for his next endurance ride in the USA in April 2020, a 2, 000 mile ride from Florida to New York. Chris is supporting Jeff, one of the many friends he made on his world ride, who is cycling to raise money for his brother who also had cancer.
“Rita underwent chemo and radiotherapy, losing her hair on four occasions, but as hard as she fought the disease and despite having lived an exemplary lifestyle with regards to healthy eating and keeping fit, Rita passed away from bowel cancer in April 2016.
“Before Rita died we’d discussed possible ways to raise awareness of the growing number of bowel cancer patients in the UK and to raise money for the charity Bowel Cancer UK.
“More than anything Rita wanted to prevent other people going through what she had endured.”
Beth Harrington, of St David’s Hospice Care, said:
“We’re so pleased that Chris, who has such a high profile after his round the world ride, has signed up for the Dalmatian Bike Ride. We’re hopeful that his involvement may encourage his supporters and those that followed his tremendous challenge will also take part in the Dally.”
A year ago this month, December, Chris set off on his VirtualWorldrideforRity challenge, a momentous, life-changing cycle ride around the world – all done virtually with the help of nifty technology.
Chris, who raised £87,000 for charity through his efforts, said:
“I was never 100 per cent certain I could do it but was 100 per cent certain it was the right thing to do.
“Rity was such an inspirational person and she fought cancer so hard that her bravery gave me the courage and the belief that I could do it.”
The route Chris rode mapped exactly the terrain he would have faced had he actually rode the round the world route. For example when Chris was crossing Mongolia the route had him taking on a climb which he started to ascend at midday and reached the top six hours later. With an average gradient of 10 per cent, and some sections getting as steep as 20 per cent, that was a tough day in the saddle.
The route Chris rode, which was uploaded to his laptop, was the same taken by round the world cyclist Mark Beaumont, who rode the world in 80 days.
A second bike allowed members of the public to ride alongside Chris. In all, nearly 600 people rode with Chris, spurring him on to complete his epic 18,000 plus mile ride.
In all it took Chris 232 days and 16 hours to circumvent the globe, taking just three days off, which are counted in the 232 days – he took Christmas day off, and then had to take two days off in February to go to Buckingham Place to collect his OBE.
For more information on bowel cancer, go to: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk and to visit Chris’ facebook site: https://en-gb.facebook.com/TACXvirtualworldrideforrity/
For more details contact Dave Rees at [email protected] or call Gemma Carter at St David’s Hospice Care on 01633 851051