Sometimes all you need is a good enough reason. Whether that’s a reason to train, a reason to work, a reason to help; a reason to do anything, really. But without a good enough reason, few goals are ever realised. That’s why this year my favourite person and I are cycling around Calais to raise money for Star Wards – a charity helping make mental health serves more person-centered. Helping a charity which does such important work is the best reason we could think of to get us to start cycling more.

Last year we cycled from Barcelona to Valencia, over a couple of weeks – only really cycling 30 miles a day max, with some days swapping out the cycling entirely for time spent eating all of the churros. This time, we will be cycling between 60-75 miles all in one go – without any of the churros. Neither of us have ever cycled quite so far! Last year also saw me run my very first marathon, training through a knee injury to take on New York Marathon with New Balance. I’ve avoided running since, focussing on trying to sort my knees out. But all this rehabbing has left me with itchy feet and it was time for a new challenge.

So on July 1st we will be taking on the Wiggle French Revolution!

This means we have to actually start training, so today I cycled to work for the first time in over a year. It wasn’t quite as terrifying as it was before, but still pretty horrendous. The cycle lane was filled with bushes, busses, street signs and pedestrians the entire way, and it took me more than three times as long to get to work by bike than it would have by train. I need your help to get me through this training and make sure I stick it out – so I need you to sponsor this challenge and help us hit our target. Please do give whatever you can and help us help make mental health services the best they can be.

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know how difficult cycling around where I live can be. See this post below from earlier this year.

CYCLING // ????? Went for a mostly lush cycle around #GunpowderPark and #EppingForest today with @rlevettator – apart from a few paths that looked like this. There were tire tracks in the mud where people had clearly driven over with all their crap to dump it in the park. It blows my mind that people can dump crap in otherwise nice places so easily. I spent yesterday with the @GoodGym crew litter picking along the River Lea with the Canal and River Trust, and we found a can of coke from 1996! This stuff will be here for ever unless the council or some kind volunteers collect it – it’s not going to biodegrade. People need to take better care of the places they live and councils need to take better care too. This is horrendous . Why not make an effort in yourself to always throw things in the bin/recycling. Do your own litter picks occasionally or join a group of wonderful people to do it together. And if you’re ripping your house out to get it refitted, get a bloody skip! . And ring the council when you see stuff like this so they can come and get it!

A post shared by Pennie Varvarides ? London, UK (@superpennie) on

Any help will be much appreciated. As would and any recommendations for padded shorts and other miscellaneous gear!