8am Sunday, just beginning to warm up, off he goes all dolled up in his lycra – my 60-year-old husband Len – cycling for two hours around Paros, 50 kilometres, a normal day’s training. On July 1st he will start three weeks of 175 km a day, making 3,639 km total, the same distance as the “Tour de France”. Why? Because he wants to... at 60 there’s not so much time left, so he has to hurry!
Lycra Len decided that as he must do this (is home really that bad?!) he might as well make it useful. The blisters on the bum and the aching limbs should be worth something! So he decided to make it a sponsored ride in order that the less fortunate (xoris podilato?) can profit from his madness.
Len and his small band of crazy friends (confirmed so far are myself, Sue Saunders, Emma Russell, Christoph Beiner, Karen Turner, Costas Stephanopoulos, Angelica Eder, Giorgos Danakos - and anyone else is welcome to join in), ask for your encouragement to complete their task by pledging hard cash to good causes (your choice, any charity, anywhere in the world) for each kilometre they ride. You can help turn this rather mad 60-year-young notion into something really worthwhile.
As there are not large numbers of riders involved, the original concept of using support vehicles and feeding stations has been simplified somewhat. For the sake of economy (and ecology) there will be no support vehicles and hence no wastage of fuel and associated pollution. To allow Len to complete his daily distance without on-the-road support, the route will be restricted to a 25 km loop between Paroikia and Aliki with the Remezzo Cafe on the Paroikia seafront acting as a “base station” to provide refreshments. To remain on schedule he will attempt to complete this loop 7 times each day. He will be passing along the Paroikia seafront once each hour, approximately on the hour. This has the advantage of maximum exposure to the crowds in town and convenience for his fellow riders who can pick up with him for short distances of fairly easy riding.
There will be no checkpoints; each rider is on trust to return an accurate report of the distance they have completed.
So look out for us, cheer for us, and help us raise money for our charities. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can make a sponsorship pledge in person at the ACS office at Ghikas Corner, Paroikia. Many thanks to ACS, Island T-shirts, Action Security Systems, Remezzo and Frank Smith for support and promotional material. Full details at www.tourofparos.com.