Paul Haxell, a chartered Health and Safety Practitioner and IOSH Councillor, is cycling the 1200km Paris Brest Paris between 18th & 22nd August using the opportunity to raise funds for Mind under the Safety4Good umbrella.
This epic cycling event traces its origins back to 1891 when only a hand full of French cyclists where allowed to ride. Today as an organised event it is run once every for years attracting thousands of riders worldwide.
In its current form riders complete the 1200km inside a 90 hours’ time limit. That’s a cumulative 90 hours covering riding, eating, sleeping and all other eventualities. Not only is the event physically demanding it is mentally taxing with long periods in the saddle and not enough sleep. Often riders report issues with hallucinations and can resort to sleeping rough in hedges and fields on route. There are basic facilities on the route with mattresses and basic catering available, however they tend to be both cramped and noisy; not conducive to a good night’s sleep even if time allowed.
Paul is currently putting considerable time in preparing for this event and is riding about 300 km each week with occasional long rides up to 600km (in 40hours) thrown in for good measure and of course continuing with a full work diary.
Paul has selected Mind as his charity as “I am fortunate to have good mental health and have used sport as a form of relaxation and stress release over the years. The ride is known as a challenge in cycling circles, but the mental challenge is very significant. In the dead of night when its wet and cold you need to keep going when the sensible thing (what most people would do would be to stop) you just need to ignore those voices and keep going. I’m hope that through doing what has help me I can raise a good some to help others who are less fortunate.”
Best of luck Paul from all of us at Safety4Good HQ- as Winston Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going!"
Simon Bliss and the team at S4G.