Friday, 5 September 2008

Bower Hinton Bike Ride

A slight departure from my usual spiritual topic, but I wanted to spend a few moments telling you about the Bower Hinton Bike Ride. This is a sponsored bike (push bike) ride that I organise to raise money for the Orchid Cancer Appeal. Orchid exist to raise money to fund research into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of male cancer. They also promote awareness of these diseases.

So what we're talking about is testicular and prostate cancer. Men aren't good when it comes to talking about these things, but it is something that we need to get better at. We need to learn a lesson from women here. Women have learned the importance of self examination in terms of noticing subtle changes in their breasts. They also talk about these things with each other. Men don't do this! We are rubbish when it comes to checking our balls and we certainly don't discuss this with each other. In a very real way here, silence can equal death. When picked up early, 98% of men make a full recovery from testicular cancer, so this shows just how important it is to check yourselves out!

As people get wise to the effects of smoking, and the cases of lung cancer begin to slowly diminish, prostate cancer is becoming the most serious issue in men.

The Bower Hinton Bike Ride works to raise money and also, and equally importantly, to raise awareness of these previously neglected diseases.

It takes so much work getting this even off the ground and running smoothly. Too much work, really! Organisation, planning, getting people to take part, publicity, health and safety stuff, insurance, you name it, I've been doing it. I'm not complaining, as it's my choice to do this, but I have noticed the impact upon time more so this year. At this point, with the ride happening on Sunday, it's reached its peak and I have no time to myself at all. The fact that it has impinged on other areas of my life has bothered me this year and it's something I need to sort out in my head. The house is full of bike ride materials!

So please do think of me on Sunday! We need fine weather for a start! We don't need sun and heat, we just need it to be dry from about 1000 - 1300! Please think about us and all the cyclists if you have a moment.

I'm sure normal service will be resumed on this blog from Monday onwards!


Tess said...

Good for you, this sounds like a great fund-raiser.
I've often wondered about this silence among men about these cancers. I wonder if the emotional element around the very masculinity of it is so strong it makes the talking impossible, and the fear drives the prevention underground.
Or maybe it's just that the majority of women (although not me) have children and are used to being prodded around by doctors, so are more matter-of-fact about medical matters.
Anyway, here's wishing you ideal weather and a good ride.

Andy said...

I think the reasons are very involved, Tess, but there is something about learned behaviour, the power of expectations, roles, fear, and many other things. Events such as this begin to break the silence by showing people that it's good to talk, raising awareness and making the topic less of a taboo. A small ripple in a huge ocean, but it has to have some positive effect. Thanks for thinking of us!