Potholes, punctures, wild dogs and heatstroke, University of Nottingham staff member Gavin Scott will risk all this and more as part of his summer holidays this year - in the name of Children’s Brain Tumour Research.
Environment Manager, Gavin will be racing from London to Istanbul on a push bike as part of the Transcontinental race. The race, which leaves from Westminster Bridge on Saturday 9th August, is a one-stage race with no support or back-up, and no specified route - although there are three mandatory checkpoints riders have to pass through.
As well as working out their own route, riders have to carry all the equipment they need for the ride, for Gavin that includes a bivvy, sleeping bag, clothing and bike spares, all of which add extra weight to the bike.
For safety, all riders will be carrying SPOT trackers that will be able to pinpoint their location, so it will enable them to see where they are in the race and friends and family will be able to track their progress. Riders choose where, when and if at all, to rest.
Talking about his plans, Gavin says: “It’s going to be one big adventure and a big opportunity. My original thought was that I’d be cycling about 1,900 miles over 15 days cycling the flattest route I could select.
“But then I found out where the mandatory checkpoints are in France, Italy and Montenegro and this route involves negotiating the Stelvio Pass which is 2,757m high with 48 hairpin turns and Mount Lovcen which is 1,749m and has 29 hairpins. So now I’m looking at a journey of 2,300 miles plus over 149,000 feet of climbing, which by my reckoning is five times the height of Everest.”
Gavin’s route plans will take him through France down towards Switzerland, across the Alps, into Italy before taking a ferry across the Adriatic to Split in Croatia, continuing through Montenegro, Macedonia and Bulgaria hoping to arrive in Istanbul two weeks after leaving London.
When asked why he is doing it Gavin replied “I’ve been asked this questions a number of times, and my immediate response is why not? We all need something to challenge us and take us out of our comfort zone and for me this is it? At the same time it gives me the opportunity to raise money for such a great cause.”
Gavin is doing this to raise money for The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. He has chosen this cause as worldwide over 30,000 children each year are diagnosed with cancer of the brain or central nervous system. In the UK, brain tumours are the largest cause of children’s cancer deaths, yet only 2% of cancer research funding has been focused on this area. The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre brings together a team of leading professionals and researchers – all experts in their fields, and all committed to improving our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of childhood brain tumours.
“The support that I have received to date from family and friends has been wonderful and my training has been fun, this is partly due to the places and people I have visited and met en-route but also due to the fact that I am raising funds for the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. The inevitable discomfort I will have whilst trying to ride 150 miles per day for 14 days is insignificant when compared to the distress and discomfort childhood brain tumour causes to young people and their families”.
You can follow Gavin on his travels through his twitter account @GavJScot
Anyone wanting to support Gavin can do so through his on line just giving page www.justgiving.com/gavin-scott
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…