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Head100913October is an interesting month. It’s the middle month of spring for a start. When September slides away behind the Mamakus there is still faint hope that serious preparation can be done for stuff that will happen before summer. By the end of October there is only stark reality: it is too late. October evaporates all too quickly, training plans lie in tatters, and xmas is only 39 shopping days away.

But this year, for Kelly Shrimpton, October is going to be longer than usual, and way longer than it is for you and me. Because every day, for the 31 days October hath, she is going to ride 31 kilometres. If that doesn’t sound like much, you have never tried to ride every day for a month.

At various times over my long history as a bike rider, I have resolved to ride every day. About 3% of you will be thinking, wait a minute, I ride every day, what’s he on about? I am addressing the remainder.

Each time I made this resolution I would make it open-ended, because each time I thought it was the dawn of a brave new world where the habits formed (and shed) in this new daily-ride lifestyle would make me a skinnier, faster version of my old self.

Of course, the existing lifestyle got in the way on perhaps the fourth day, and within a week I had become resigned to remain as I am, riding every second or third day if I am lucky.

But I never had the sort of reason Kelly has to embark on such a mission. In 2006 she lost her partner Nick to lymphoma, and this year Kelly had the idea of doing something out of the ordinary in his memory. Her epic task is to ride 31ks a day for 31 days, and by doing so raise awareness and some funds for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Like her on Facebook, donate here at givealittle.co.nz.

Once you have done those things, the entertainment options are endless. Keep track of her progress, vicariously share the experience. Like holding your breath while you watch this, start riding 31ks a day on October 1 and see how long you last. Place some bets with your workmates, get some skin in the game.

And wish her well, on a mission that will be fun, funny, thought-provoking and harder than you’d think.




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