Mansfield counsellor completes emotional cycling challenge in memory of father-in-law
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Within a few days I had decided I wanted to do something for him, something which would honour his name, whilst also raising money for a good cause.
From there the concept of ‘Biking for Bazza’ to raise money for Cancer Research was born.
The date for the ride was August 15 and the 44-mile route was from Lincoln to Newark and then back to Forest Town.
I had a custom t-shirt designed with Barry’s picture on the front and set off from Lincoln Cathedral just after 8.30am.
Moving through bike trails, country roads, small villages and even the forest was physically challenging, but I think this was exceeded by the emotional aspect of what I was doing.
In an ideal world this would have been a training exercise or a bit of fun with friends, rather than a tribute to a loved one.
Whilst I was reliant on voice guidance from my phone, I still managed to take a wrong turn and end up doing 15 miles on the A46.
I think what I noticed more than anything was the tranquillity (aside from the A46) which provided me with a great deal of thinking time and much of this was devoted to times I had spent with Barry.
After about 32 miles, I started to feel physically fatigued.
It was then the emotional side and why I was doing this, I think, took over and kept me going.
Coasting down the home straight and seeing my family there to greet me was very emotional, particularly my wife, as she was extremely close to her father and I knew she would be feeling it that day.
Grief is an extremely difficult emotion to come to terms with and how it is handled can vary from person to person.
I work with it a lot in my practice, but it’s very different when I am faced with it on a personal level.
In total we raised just over £1,000 including the gift aid.
To all the people who sponsored me, thank you so much.
To my family and friends, your support meant the world to me.
Finally to my wife, thank you for arranging the event, I hope I did your dad proud.