Karl and Simon plan to complete a 1400 cycle tour in June 2015
Diabetes UK is the leading UK diabetes charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns alongside people with or at risk of diabetes.
The BHF is the UK’s number one heart charity, leading the fight against cardiovascular disease through research, information and support.
Here at Tesco we are committed to using our scale for good and making healthy choices the easy choice for our customers and colleagues in the UK.
44 year old Karl joined Tesco in 2006 and became a Team Manager in 2013. He is a family man with 4 children. Took up cycling in March '13 after taking advantage of the Cycle To Work Scheme.
47 year old Simon lives happily in sin with his partner and between them have 6 children, 2 Grandchildren and a chocolate Labrador. Joined Tesco in 1998 and became a Team Manager in 2001. After buying a bike through the cycle to work scheme, Simon is still getting used to the feel of lycra!
Peter, who did not want to disclose his age, although he is an 'Old Fart', offered his services having nothing else to do since retiring. Although he can be found regularly next to any pond, river, lake holding onto a stick with the never ending hope to land the big one!!
21 year old Jack is a Sports Therapist from Coventry University. He first met Simon and Karl in February when they came to the clinic and agreed to be part of the support team when they said he would get free food!
20 year old Sports Therapist, recently finished my degree at Coventry University. Outside of Sports Therapy I enjoy playing hockey and running. Earlier this year I took part in my first ever marathon… the 2015 Virgin London Marathon, which was slightly easier than cycling around the UK.
21 years old from Rutland. 3rd year Sports Therapy student at Coventry University. I have been treating Karl and Simon on a weekly basis in clinic to help prepare them for the big ride. Good luck boys.
21 year-old Scott is from Walsall in the West Midlands. About to graduate with a degree in Sports therapy from Coventry University. Offered to help with The Big Tesco Saddle Sore Tour to gain valuable work experience after finishing the degree.
"I am so delighted we are supporting Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation through our National Charity Partnership. By working together, we can make a real difference to the health of our customers and colleagues and build a better future for the communities we serve. I would encourage every colleague to give their support to this amazing partnership through raising awareness of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and fundraising for these vital causes. I look forward to working closely with the charities over the next three years and hearing all your wonderful stories."
Dave Lewis, Group CEO, Tesco
“Diabetes UK is thrilled to be working with the British Heart Foundation and Tesco in a new National Charity Partnership. This is a hugely exciting opportunity and we hope to help millions of people to make healthier choices. The expertise in health of both charities, together with Tesco’s ability to speak to people in communities across the UK, means we can make a positive difference.”
Barbara Young, Chief Executive Diabetes UK
“This ground-breaking partnership is a fantastic way to get healthy lifestyle messages to millions of people across the UK. The sad truth is that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of over four hundred people every day. Thanks to the generosity of Tesco colleagues and customers we will be able to continue our fight for every heartbeat.”
Simon Gillespie, CEO British Heart Foundation
In the first partnership of its kind, Tesco, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have come together to help reduce the number of people at risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
British Heart Foundation are the nation´s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research.
Coronary heart disease is the UK's single biggest killer but we are leading the fight against it. Our pioneering research has helped to transform the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions.
Diabetes UK is the leading charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of every person affected by or at risk of diabetes.
There are currently 3.8 million people in the UK with diabetes, including an estimated 630,000 people who have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it. We help people manage their diabetes effectively by providing information, advice and support.
"After my heart attack and finding out I had Type 2 diabetes I needed to change everything. I got a new job and looked at the way I ate. I wanted to do everything I could to lessen the risk to my heart and become healthy.”
“Both I, and my partner Lawrence, have Type 2 diabetes, and Lawrence has had two heart attacks. It is a lot to deal with.
But now there are two of us we are working together so we can have a long and happy future together.”
Please donate as much as you can for these 2 deserving charities, all donations from small to BIG are gratefully accepted and will spur us on to complete this massive challenge.
Visit our JustGiving page or donate by phone by texting BIKR67 £2 / £5 /£10 to 70070 to donate now. eg BIKR67 £5
Widnes. Wet Widnes. Rain was forecast but still not nice to wake up to. It was mild with no wind but no matter how you try to put a positive spin on things, riding a bike in the rain is no fun. Our first stop of the day was Widnes Extra store, just across the road from our hotel.
Day 18. Is it? Yes. 17, no 18. Definitely losing it! We woke early in Dublin. We had a 9am ferry to catch so needed to be at the port for 8. We got to the port and realised we were booked on a freight ferry. Most of the cargo was just lorry trailers and just a dozen or so cars.
Day 13. Kelso to Livingston. The weather was much cooler today. No significant wind but temperatures more like we had during our winter training. We left at 9.30 knowing we had another really hard day ahead. The weather got colder and then started to rain, heavy enough for our waterproofs. We had been so lucky with the weather up until now. This was a shock to the system and we both struggled to stay warm.
So, over half way. 11 days and over 700 miles completed. I am very proud of our achievement so far if I do say so myself. We expected today was going to be tough and we were not wrong. We had a 9am start on another glorious morning and got on the road for Middlesbrough around 25 miles away.
Before i write this little passage now, i have to check yesterday’s to see what day it is. You very easily lose track of where you are when your routine is the same everyday. Today was Goole to Northallerton via York Extra store. We woke to bright sunshine and very little wind, perfect. We really have been blessed with some very good weather so far.
Day 9 was never planned as being a particularly busy day. Lincoln to Goole via Goole DC, just over 50 miles. The weather was perfect this morning. Bright sunshine, less wind and warmer than yesterday. We left at 9.30 and had a planned arrival of 3pm, loads of time. The road North was straight and flat and we made great time. We could have actually arrived by 1pm and i phoned ahead to tell them but they asked us to slow down as they wouldn’t be ready for us.
Day 8 must be the most uneventful, boring day ever. We left the hotel at the normal time, around 09.30. The weather was significantly colder today so base layer tops were required so no chance in topping up the tan today. We headed North on the A15 and that's where we stayed, all day.
Today was a day of mixed emotions. This morning we celebrated Peter’s birthday. This evening we said goodbye to Matt. This morning we started early. Breakfast at 6.30 to leave at 8. We ate very little at breakfast as we had been promised bacon rolls in Harlow Metro store. We arrived at store at 8.15 to be greeted by store manager Steph West and members of her team all wearing charity T shirts and holding a banner. A lovely welcome.
It ’s been a funny old day. Very fulfilling, very tiring and very stressful. All seemed normal in the morning. We set off a bit earlier so we could arrive at Thurrock DC before the shift went home. Welwyn Garden City to Thurrock id not the most straightforward route on a bike. You have to get the balance between safety and time saving. Today we got it wrong.
So day 5. Another day, another DC. None of us slept very well. Don’t know if was the aftermath of the stress from the previous day but we all looked like we had had a night dancing on the tables when we met for breakfast. I went down to the van at about 8.45 and Matt was massaging the shoulders of a woman in a wheelchair.
It ’s been a funny old day. This morning the hills were alive with the sound of our screaming. This afternoon we were screaming at stupid drivers. The day started with the usual routine. Early breakfast, check the bikes over, confirm the route and set off after the initial rush of traffic.
It is widely recommended that cyclists wear glasses. This is for a variety of reasons. Protection from the sun is the obvious one but also to prevent dust and insects from blinding you when you are careering down a hill at 30+mph. Now that I am spending a lot of time in the saddle I can see why they are important. However, that does not prevent me managing to eat a constant supply of wildlife.
Last week we were really panicking. 5 weeks to go before we set off and £270 in sponsorship. Improvement has been solid. We have now tripled our sponsorship to over £800 with some very generous contributions and £100 cash to pay in. We also have over £200 on sponsor forms still to be collected.
5 weeks. That’s all we have left now until we start. The training is fine. I’m feeling strong and healthy and confident I am where I should be. A year in the making. Countless hours in the saddle through the winter and getting back home with no feeling in my feet or hands.
When we looked at recruiting some help from a local university to support us with our health and fitness we looked at sports therapy and physiotherapy. The definition for sports therapy concentrates primarily on injury prevention as well as nutrition but also rehabilitation after an injury occurs.
We could not have achieved this without the support of the following.