Dave Jackson, with wife Caroline, ready for the cycling challenge for Headway
Well, we are nearly there and the 80-mile Nottingham Rugby Cycling Challenge to raise money for brain injury charity Headway, could prove harder than I thought it would.
Myself and 18 willing volunteers will be leaving Headingley Leeds Carnegie at 5.30am on Sunday morning and we will hopefully arrive at Meadow Lane, Nottingham before the 3pm kick-off of their game against Leeds.
We are passing through areas of Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Mansfield before we arrive in Nottingham so if you see us riding by, give us a shout and a wave – I have a feeling I might need it.
I had a sort of a trial run the other day and got through 33 miles of our route in the Barnsley/Rotherham neck of the woods. I had never realised how hilly a part of the world that was.
You are either going up or down a hill for what felt like the whole of the trip.
And it didn’t help that I had a puncture just 1.3 miles into it either. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something?
Mind you, if there was any divine intervention involved, they also made sure that I got my puncture right near a Tesco’s that sold inner tubes.
You couldn’t make it up.
Not only that, but they had been reduced from £10 down to £2.50!
I bought as many as I could carry.
I got back on and there were no more mis-haps before we ended up parking near a Frankie & Benny’s restaurant near Barnsley to finish. I have never been so pleased to see my van in the car park. And that wasn’t even at the half-way distance of what I will be doing on Sunday.
I know the regular cyclists in my group won’t have a problem with the 80 miles. But for me, it’s not something I have done before.
My wife Catherine and her family will be riding with me and I have been really touched by the support we have had in the last few days which has seen £1,000 raised in the last couple of days alone.
Headway are a brain injury charity that offers practical help and support to people and the families of individuals who have been affected by brain injuries.
After my retirement from the sport because of repeated concussions, it is something that is very close to my heart.
Any support you can give, either financially or along the route, will be much appreciated. And for those who are going to the game between Nottingham and Leeds on Sunday, there will be an auction after the final whistle in the sports bar.
There, we will sell-off, among other items, the shirt I wore in my last ever game for the club.
It’s going to be a tiring and emotional day. But one I am really looking forward to.
Please support Jacko at www.justgiving.com/nottinghamrugby