Ian Appleby is a Qhubeka fan living in the UK who has decided to ride from one side of England to the other in a single day to raise funds for Qhubeka.
“I’m forty years old and I’m married to Carly and we have two beautiful children – Moses Immanuel, who is four and a half years old, and Elizabeth Isa Boo, who is sixteen months old,” says Ian. “I am currently self-employed as a bookkeeper and do work for a number of local businesses, as well as looking after the children so that Carly can pursue her career.”
Ian is a sports fan who played football for more than 20 years before being forced to stop due to injuries. He took up cycling almost two years ago, inspired by Thibault Pinot and Fredrik Kessiakoff duelling up a mountain on Stage Eight of the 2012 Tour de France. “I love it and wish I’d ‘seen the light years ago,” he says.
Choosing to support Qhubeka
“I first heard about Qhubeka when I discovered Team MTN-Qhubeka whilst following the 2013 Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia and I wrote a blog about how I decided to choose Team MTN-Qhubeka as ‘My Team’, through their African connection and the amazing work that Qhubeka does,” explains Ian. “I also met some members of the team at the Tour of Britain in 2013, all of whom were very friendly and approachable and gave me the time for a chat and photos, what a top bunch of people!
“I decided to raise funds for Qhubeka because the organisation inspires me. I think the work that they do is fantastic and it struck a chord with me as soon as I read about it. For me it is along the same principles as the phrase, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’, in that, ‘Give a child a ride to school and they’ll get there on that day; give them a bike and teach them how to ride it and they’ll get there every day’, if you know what I mean.”
Ian’s upcoming coast to coast ride
On 31 May, Ian will set off on his fundraising ride. “I wanted to ride a coast to coast route in a day, as I thought if I did it over two days it wouldn’t be as much of a challenge,” he says. “However, I looked at the ‘traditional’ routes and from a logistical and financial point of view they weren’t possible, as I don’t drive a car and I don’t have much money to spare for the travel and accommodation that would be needed. So I devised my own route, from Blackpool to Whitby – two of the UK’s most famous seaside resorts – and then I had to think about how to get to Blackpool to start the ride from my home town, Preston. As I’m setting off at 5am I thought it was a bit much to ask anyone to give me a lift, so I thought, ‘Why not ride out there and add it to the ride?’”
The route itself is roughly 160 miles (about 257km), with just over 3,000 metres of climbing. “It will be a test of stamina and endurance for me, as the furthest I have ridden before is 110 miles, with 2,500 metres of climbing,” says Ian. “I’ll be cycling through the Forest of Bowland, Yorkshire Dales National Park and North York Moors National Park en route and I’m just hoping for decent weather. A westerly wind would be nice! The ride will be on my 41st birthday – a present to myself.”
“My goal is a modest one,” says Ian. “I’d like to raise enough money to pay for one bike and anything more will be a bonus. I’ve had some great encouragement and support from my family, friends and business clients, who have pledged sponsorship for the ride and friends on Twitter (@BackOnTrack00 , @pauloatham , @WhiteleeWarrior, @ademanning ) who’ve offered me plenty of support and words of encouragement. Additionally, some of the riders at Team MTN-Qhubeka, Damian Murphy the team’s ‘digital media guy’, Doug Ryder, the Team Principal, Xylon van Eyck, the team’s media officer, and @TarrynG_ , one of the teams Biokineticists and Sports Massage Therapists, have all re-tweeted and sent me words of support which has been brilliant and much appreciated, strengthening my feeling of connection to the team and cause.”
To support Ian in his ride for Qhubeka, make a donation on his GiveGain profile page, and keep up to date with his progress at:
Strava profile page: http://www.strava.com/athletes/1079105