Big Issue Bike Ride – Update

Thanks so much for your interest in the Big Issue Bike Ride which is now less than two weeks away.

This will be a great experience for me and hopefully beneficial to all the people who will get off the streets as a result of your sponsorship money.

The ride consists of a 230 mile trek from London (via North and South Downs and across the ferry to Caen) arriving three days later in Paris. Training has been tough! I have been to the gym a couple of times a week and done several larger rides (50+ miles) and lots of shorter rides (15-20 miles).

I feel relatively fit, but am aware of the stamina demands such a ride involves. It has been inspiring watching the Tour De France – although they average 48km per hour, and I average about 27km per hour!

Thanks for all your encouragements, some of which are decidedly ambiguous (You’re mad! I’m not paying up until I see the A&E discharge slip!).

At the end of the day I am not doing this solely for an exciting challenge for me. I am enthusiastic about the positive benefits which your sponsorship money will have upon people such as John below. So, thanks to all of you who have sponsored me!

And to those who have frequently said to me: “Oh, I must remember to sponsor you!” this is a gentle reminder!

There were some problems with the online sponsorship site “justgiving” for a while, but these have now been resolved and my personal page is best accessed via www.simonvibert.com

Thanks again! Simon

www.SimonVibert.com

How your support can help:

Johns Story

John was on a downward spiral into drugs and crime when he found The Big Issue and became a vendor in Newport, south Wales. “I started selling the Issue which was something I’d always thought I could never do,” he confesses. “But I had a ‘substance problem’, let’s just say, and I was shoplifting. After getting caught a few times it lost its appeal in a big way.” Selling The Big Issue initially offered a quick fix for John’s problems, giving him much needed cash, but he soon found that he had a talent for selling, and it became something more. “I used to do quite well at it. I used to look forward to it, to meeting my regular customers. They’d all stop and have a chat. I must have enjoyed it – I did it for four or five years.” With regular money coming in from his job as a vendor, John found that he wanted to kick his drug habit: “I started thinking, ‘Hang on, I’m earning this money each week and just doling it out to some guy on the street.’ I got myself off drugs and planned to go back to work.” The Big Issue helped direct John to a course that allowed him to get his heavy goods license, and he’s now working full-time as a heavy goods driver. “I work long hours but I enjoy it,” he says, “and it’s great to have money again.” A full-time job has led to a more stable life – John now has his own home, too. “I’ve got somewhere to live at the moment, but I’m saving my pennies now rather than spending it straight away. You’ve got to set goals and work towards something otherwise there’s no point. “I couldn’t have done any of this with out the help of the Issue and the people out there.”

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