First of all, a big thank you to everyone who has helped me to reach 75% of my fundraising target. So far I’ve been on the road for over six months, bringing countless challenges to overcome and endure (my latest challenge came this morning in Kosovo with my first case of diarrhea, and adjusting to using squat toilets with no toilet paper!). This week I’ve also traversed northern Albania, with constant steep gradients to climb up, followed by many sketchy descents weaving between the numerous landslides.
Earlier this week I featured in the online Runtastic blog, a company who focuses on ‘building its own ecosystem in health and fitness with both indoor and outdoor fitness apps, its own online community and fitness hardware’. Runtastic have developed some fabulous apps that promote exercise and encourage regular fitness in our hectic lives. Predictably, my favorite is the Runtastic Roadbike app, which integrates heart rate, cadence, and speed sensors to track your ride!
To have a read of my interview just click Cycling Against Cancer – Chris Gruar on his Charity Trip from England to Australia. In the interview I share some of my experiences from the road over the past six months, and give some insight into the immense challenges of cycle touring alone through a diverse range of European countries.
When I was recently in Turku in the southwest of Finland I did an impromptu radio interview with RadioRobinHood. At the time I was kicking the hacky sack (unsuccessfully) around in the rain with friends I had met earlier in the day. We spotted the entrance to a local radio station, and within minutes I was inside the studio with my friend Franseska and our interviewer Thierry Francis. It was a memorable experience being inside my first studio, and after a nervous start I think I got the message across about both my cycling adventure and AICR.
When I was recently in Helsinki I did my first ever video interview with The Association for International Cancer Research. Since then the team at AICR have edited two versions of my interview, complete with images from the road. I have included both the shorter three minute and longer ten minute versions below, and I hope they give people following the Cycling4Cancer journey a greater understanding of my experiences on the road. Enjoy!
The Shorter Interview
The Longer Interview
In Helsinki I was lucky enough to do an hour long audio interview with the journalist Lucas Dahlstrom from the Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet. If you haven’t guessed already, I can’t even begin to pronounce the name of the paper, and thankfully they are happy to call themselves HBL. I was at The University of Helsinki visiting three AICR granted cancer research projects, and it was an experience I found invaluable to both understand and appreciate the types of projects funded by AICR, as well as motivate me on the saddle to struggle through the miles and spread the word about AICR. A big thank you to Dr Gwen Wathne, the Science Communication Manager of AICR, for all her help and support in Helsinki. It was great to finally meet a representative from the association, and her patience through our video interviews was invaluable!
At the university I also saw fascinating presentations by Pipsa Saharinen, Kaisa Lehti, and Kari Alltalo. I then visited the laboratory to be shown where their work on limiting the growth and spread of tumours was being conducted. To read the article from The University of Helsinki about my visit, please click here.
This week Mark Beaumont spoke to AICR about my Cycling4Cancer charity adventure. Mark rode around the world a few years back, and in the process smashed the Guiness World Record. I have read both his books ‘The Man Who Cycled The World‘ and ‘The Man Who Cycled The Americas‘, and he has been a great inspiration for my own two wheeled charity trip. His cycling adventures have also resulted in two fantastic documentaries, and if you haven’t come across him already please visit his website. Thanks Mark for your words of encouragement!
I’ve just hit the southern coast of England, and while I crossed the salty sea an hour ago I found myself reflecting on the experiences over the past few days. The weather has improved somewhat, and with it I’ve been able to explore the scenic countryside, prehistoric Stonehenge, historic Bath, the waterside of Bristol, and a series of lively gorgeous English towns (Marlborough and Salisbury being the pick of the bunch). I hope my snaps have captured the beauty of the region:
A field of yellow ‘Black Gold’, just superb!
Camping next to Silbury Hill, Europes largest pre-historic manmade structure
I’m on my way! Yesterday I cycled about 80km from Leeds to Sheffield, with a five hour break in Castleford town centre where we set up an AICR Cycling4Cancer stand and raised a further 500 pounds. It just feels so good to be finally on the road, raising awareness and money for such an important cause.
Early this morning as I prepared to begin my tour I was lucky enough to have a radio interview with BBC Radio Leeds. It was a nerve wracking experience being on the radio for the first time, but I really enjoyed having the opportunity to spread the word about AICR and Cycling4Cancer.
Celebrating a hard days ride at The Riverside, Sheffield