Avid readers of my blog will know that I mentioned a month or so ago that I want to do something to raise a wedge of cash for charity. I don't want to do a sponsored swim or run at one of these organised events, I want to do something that will be a bit different and actually challenge me properly. I also don't want to raise a few hundred quid - I want to raise a few thousand.
I came up with the idea of cycling the Trans Pennine Trail. It's 350 miles end to end and won't be particularly easy. I used to cycle loads and loads; however in recent years (the last ten) I've done less and less exercise and wouldn't say I'm overly fit anymore. I'd need to train over the winter months to get my physical fitness back to a decent state and it'd require a decent amount of planning to complete.
I've mentioned the idea to (a mate) Steve who's up for doing it with me and since then I've another mate on board too. I reckon it'd take about four days to complete and whilst that only means a rough average of 88 miles per day we need to stay realistic and remember that there's going to be some seriously rough terrain to cover and some big hills! We're looking at doing this in the Spring of 2007.
I'm registered [url=http://www.transpenninechallenge]a web-site[/uel] to track progress of the idea, the training and the actual event but I've not put any content there yet. I'll be working to make this a decent site that will hopefully give the challenge a bit more of a presence and somewhere that I can get people to sponsor us via too. A big issue doing sponsored events is collecting money from people when they've said they give you cash. By making the main collection point and on-line system folk can pledge their donation / sponsorship in any currency and can pay using a card securely.
I haven't decided on a charity I'd like to raise money for yet so am open to ideas. My Mum has done things for Cancer Research in the past because she's been affected by that and Gina's done stuff for Rheumatoid arthritis since her Mum suffers that. I'd like to do the event for a lesser known charity rather than a run of the mill charity because they get less notice and cash because people are always donating to the bigger more well known charities. That and the fact that less money is donated to charity since the Lottery came about because people felt that they were doing something for others as well as standing a chance of getting something out of it themselves too. Whilst I'm keen to support a less well known charity I do also realise that people might be less likely to donate because they don't know about it; however I feel by having the web-site there's an easy reference point where I can explain about what ever charity I end up supporting.
I'm not sure if we'll all be cycling for the same charity as myself or if we'll be doing it for separate charities. This said, I think I know Steve & Terry well enough to expect that they'll probably go for a joint effort for one charity since it'll be easier to maintain, promote and sort out.
The halfway point on the Trans Pennine Trail is the small town that I live in; however we're going to try and blag free accommodation for the other nights we're going to be away for in return for a mention or perhaps a mini-advert on our site. In terms of equipment and a support team we're going to be relying on the good will of friends and family to either lend us what we need or be where we need them to be for free. We don't intend to take any of our costs out of the money we raise.
If I can get it, I'm going to get Corporate Sponsorship from my workplace. I don't think Steve will be able to do the same considering his line of work and Terry's just moved jobs, but we can try. I wonder if PlusNet would cough up anything - after all it is tax deductable for them...
The point of this thread is really to let you all know what my thoughts are at the moment and to ask you several things:
1. Do you think it's a good idea?
2. How much money should we realistically set as a target?
3. What charity should we raise all this money for?
4. Would you be willing to part with cash to support something like this?