Some people are simply inspirational. It might be their attitude or resolve. Their presence (or prescience). It could be their worldview or philosophy, their approach to life or joie de vive. Their accomplishments may be physical – travelling great lengths, at great speeds, or achieving great results. Whatever form it takes, some people inspire. If we’re lucky, we get to hear about them. Read about their exploits. Follow their activities. If we’re really lucky, we sometimes get the opportunity to muck in and help them out.
Réka Petaky is just such a person. Impossibly modest and quite likely to curl up in a ball when she reads this, Réka is a young mum of three who hails from Hull. Last year she took up cycling with very little training or experience and cycled from the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides to Hull on the banks of the Humber. A distance of 500ish miles. The remarkable thing about this journey – aside from its very respectable distance – is that Réka was in the middle of ongoing cancer treatment. Keen to prove that living with an acute condition should be no barrier to enjoying life to the full, this year she’ll be doing it all over again on an even grander scale, linking the capital cities from the constituent parts of the UK and Ireland. The ride has three key objectives: –
(1) To tell the world and ourselves, that you can live well with cancer because cancer is part of our lives not our whole life.
(2) To highlight the need for services for people who would like to keep active and/or make lifestyle changes in the course of dealing with cancer to maintain their quality of life and to aid recovery.
(3) To raise awareness and influence decision making bodies.
It’s hard to emphasise what a huge undertaking this is. Reka is publicising like crazy, trying to organise media representation, book accommodation (for up to 20 cyclists – all in a similar positon), raise funds and design routes. It’s a spectacular effort. So if there’s any capacity in which you can help out – particularly corporate sponsorship, benefits in kind, retweeting, blogging or facebooking, she’d love to hear from you. You can find more details on the ride website (http://www.theride.org.uk/) including details of how to contact her.
Cyclestuff will be supporting Reka with regular updates. I’m also hoping to join the cyclists for the South Wales and South West elements of the ride.
P.S. Cycle chic-ists take note: Réka is a HUGE fan of clothes and received enviable amounts of good clobber for the Mull to Hull trip. Have a little look at her ‘Girl with the button’ website for lots of photographic evidence.She’ll love you to bits if you can lay your hands on a Vivenne Westwood dress for her.