On Friday, June 9th Player Liaison Officer Tracey Leaburn will be part of the Charlton team cycling 146 miles from London to Amsterdam to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
In the first instalment of her training blog, Tracey, the wife of Charlton legend Carl Leaburn, explains why she’s getting some famous friends involved in her training...
I’d only been out with the kids on little bike rides before I signed up for the cycle that is certainly nothing like what I’m doing now.
My first long cycle was about three weeks ago. It was 22 miles there and 22 back, on my own! It was scary and I kept on thinking “What am I doing?” It felt like I nearly died three times with cars not seeing me.
I did some more training by myself and it was good but felt a bit aimless, so in the next two weeks I’m arranging to meet people who I know that I can cycle to. Ideally they’d be about 25 miles away, so I can stop in for a sandwich and come back, hopefully with them sponsoring me.
I did that this week when I went to visit the lovely Chris Powell, I arranged to have lunch with him and his wife. I cycled to their house, had a lovely bacon sandwich, a couple of cans of lemon drink.
Chris is an ambassador for Prostate Cancer so he did a couple of pictures with me and agreed to sponsor me. It was really nice to actually have somewhere to go and a familiar face to see. You break the journey up as that’s what we’ll be doing on the ride and it’s nice to see my friends. I’m hoping I’ve got some more ex-Charlton players lined up to visit but if any fans have any suggestions then get in touch!
It is not just old friends that have been supportive. I’ve had great support from a couple called Helen and Paul. Helen used to work for the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) for years and popped into see Jason Morgan (the CACT CEO). We got talking and she invited me along to join the Eltham Velos.
The first time I went out with them I had just got my new road bike. I was a bit nervous to go out on my own because drivers aren’t always very aware of cyclists and I wasn’t sure how to change the gears as it was a different type of bike with different gears.
I was very scared so Helen and Paul agreed to come and meet me on Saturday and we went out on the bike ride and Paul was behind me telling me when to change gears and how to do it.
I’m out with them again on Sunday, I’ve got two options, 25 mile or 65 mile ride, so I’ll have to work out which one I do!! Paul is a massive Charlton fan and has been for many years. They’ve been supportive and helpful especially because I had no clue about bikes until I started training for this ride.
We have five of us cycling as part of the challenge to represent Charlton. I’m looking to go out training soon with (club legend) Bob Bolder and Jason (Morgan) who are both taking part.
Jason and I went for a fitting for our bikes at Pedal It. We met the owner of the shop Marcus. He is so nice, he ordered some bikes in especially for us and he’s been really lovely. He looks after kids that have problems at home, he has them working in his shop. It is so lovely.
The training has certainly been a bit of a rollercoaster so far and Carl has been really supportive. He saw the video about why I am doing this and I was really touched by how proud of me he is.
I’ve lost 10lbs in weight too since I went on the pitch for the announcement. I jumped on the scales this morning and I couldn’t believe it!
I’ve now got a busy week ahead of me though and just a few, important weeks left of training.
I really appreciate all the messages of support and the sponsorship. If you have any training tips then they are much appreciated.
Tracey and her Addicks teammates all have just giving pages and fans can show their support for them by clicking here