Trustee to take on Vietnam to Cambodia cycle challenge

16 April 2014

One of our trustees, Paul Baker, is taking on an amazing 12-day cycling challenge this October with his daughter, raising money for Leonard Cheshire Disability.

The challenge will take them from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, through the rice paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta and into Cambodia.

Each month Paul is going to keep us updated with his progress leading up to the big challenge. Have a read of his first blog post below.

April 2014 – seven months to go

Paul Baker

So here I am. 57 years young, just retired and a new trustee for this great charity. Immediately my thoughts turned to what can I do with all my time that will be a bit different to catching the 6.08 train to London Paddington every morning — something which has been the norm for me for the last 20 odd years. 'I know,' I said, 'I will ride a mountain bike across Vietnam with my daughter and raise some money for Leonard Cheshire Disability.'

Seems simple when you say it like that, and it still did feel that way as I went off and booked up the challenge which starts on 4 October.

Ah, but then I slept on it and all of a sudden I started to think of my lifelong inability to cope with spicy foods, fish and anything that is not meat and two veg or Marmite on toast — simple stuff! Creepy crawlies and particularly mosquitos, being too hot, having injections and wearing lycra!

I promptly retraced my steps returning to the travel agents with my most official face and tone to see if I could get a refund, but to no avail — apparently I was committed. Initially, I was not sure how to take that. Should I be committed, or did they mean I just needed to get on with it? I chose the latter and here I am now starting to think about all the things I need to do — specifically:

  • GET FIT.
  • Buy some lycra and very padded shorts.
  • Sort my immunisation out.
  • Think about border control papers.
  • Get a bike and do some miles.
  • And try to think of the sorts of food I could eat. (Mars Bars and Pringles in my rucksack?)

Clearly a lot to do, not least of which is to spring into action on the sponsorship front — JustGiving helps with that and in less than three weeks I have topped £2,000 plus Gift Aid. All of which has already been received by the charity — so a good start but we can do more.

I will keep you posted each month about how I am getting on and what we will actually be doing.

Meanwhile, any help you can give me through sponsorship will be an amazing spur. My site is

Alternatively you can text VIET66 and the amount (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.

Cheers for now.

Keep an eye out for Paul's next update in a month's time. In the meantime, find similar events you can take part in.

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