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From Blackpool to Paris: The Charitable Biker With Something To Prove

Monday, July 15th, 2019 | Blog

We all try to do our bit for charity; whether it’s dropping a few extra pennies in the collection tin at the end of your weekly shop or donating to your friend efforts through pages like Just Giving. There are those of us who go one step beyond though. Taking part in events that not only test our fortitude but also exceed it. 


One such individual is Andy Havlin, who is the Operations Manager for Kare Plus Blackpool, Southport and Wigan and St Helens. Andy is currently preparing to cycle from Blackpool to Paris, a trip which Google Maps predicts will take anywhere between 40 & 50 hours to complete. 


Andy pictured recently attending a Kylie Minogue concert where he undertook a spot of fundraising.


We spoke to Andy about the trip and his reasons for undergoing the monumental challenge.


What made you want to bike from Blackpool to Paris?

I saw the advert for the ride and made the throwaway comment that I would love to challenge myself like that and a relative said that I could never do it, in front of my daughter. I want to prove to her that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard.”

What can you tell us about Blackpool Carers Centre?  And why do you want to fund raise for them?

I am a big fan of the Blackpool Carers Centre’s work and the support they provide to the young carers in our community. The staff there work tirelessly and go above and beyond every day, so the least I can do is give them a week of my life.”

How has your training gone so far?

Training has been much more difficult than I initially expected and I have discovered I am not a fan of cycling - mainly because of the regular punctures. However, I feel this will make my challenge even more rewarding. I’m currently comfortable riding around 50 miles at a time.”

What are you most excited about during the ride?

I am most excited about the freedom of riding through the countryside and seeing all different sights! Oh and not being on call.”

Is there anything you are nervous about?

I am only nervous that I won’t do very well or that I won’t raise the £2000 required as I’ve not had the time to fundraise as much as I’d like to so far.

Are you much of a cycler outside of fundraising?  What made you choose cycling specifically?

I hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years before deciding to take this challenge. It was a decision I made because nobody believes I can do it. I am not a natural cycler and I feel it’s more rewarding to go out of my comfort zone and work hard to achieve something I can be proud of.”

Is there anything you would like to add? 

I believe the best thing you can give to charity is your time, I get very little free time in this role and in doing this I am proving to both myself and my little girl, that as important as I feel my job role is, sometimes it is more important to do things purely to help others. When I complete this challenge, all those who said I couldn’t do it are going to have some challenges sent their way.”

We’ll continue to post updates from Andy on the run up to his bike ride on the 22nd to the 28th September. If you would like to find out more or make a donation to Andy’s bike ride, please visit his Just Giving page using the link below.


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