Twelve times FIM Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin will embark on one of the biggest challenges of his professional career when he joins long time Cumbrian friend, Paul Dixon on a trip with a difference this summer. Lampkin and Dixon will head a five rider team who will attempt to pedal from Chorley to Nice over twelve days or so following a route that will cover one thousand miles and take in the fearsome climbs of the Alps.
The challenge - Pedal de Alps - has a real personal purpose with the aim to raise a substantial amount of money for Derian House in Chorley. Paul and his family became acquainted with the specialist children's hospice for terminally ill youngsters during the short life of their son Harry who lost his battle with SMA Type 1 in June 2006, aged just fourteen weeks. (SMA is short for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is a genetic disorder, affecting the motor neurons in the spinal cord)
Although almost seven years has now passed, the memory of this difficult time remains strong and has driven Dixon, who acted as minder for Lampkin during the early part of his international career, to put himself and the accompanying squad through pain for this close and extremely worthy cause. Training and planning for this gruelling trip is already underway with the guys having been meeting up for regular training rides in the Yorkshire hills throughout recent months.
Paul and Dougie will be joined by Dougie's trials riding cousin James Lampkin, Dougie's long serving manager Jake Miller and fellow motorcyclist and loyal Hope employee Woody Hole as the five strong team swap their normal petrol propulsion for raw pedal power.
The long journey to France will begin from Derian House in Chorley in mid August, with the initial test being the relatively short dash of one hundred and thirty miles to Hull where the team will board the ferry bound for Zeebrugge in Belgium. Once on the other side of the English Channel the route will take the squad south with the plan to arrive in Geneva, Switzerland just a few days later. Here the landscape will change drastically as the guys then fight their way over the towering Alps before arriving in the French seaside city of Nice at the end of twelve or so extremely testing days.
"I am both excited and apprehensive about the challenge that lies ahead, but my overriding feeling is one of great pride at having the chance to be a part of this incredible journey for my good friend Paul Dixon," said Red Bull athlete Lampkin who is no stranger to putting himself through hell. "Paul was very much at my side when I started my career, so I am glad that I am now at a stage where I can repay the favour for such a great and personal cause."
"Pedalling is very different to riding a bike with an engine, although it's that motorcycle background that we all have in common. We are going to need that strong bond and friendship to pull us through what will be twelve or so very demanding days in the saddle," continued Dougie. "I am well aware that we have several hard months of training ahead of us all if we are to stand a realistic chance of reaching Nice in one piece."
"We will be very much driven on by our single aim which is to raise a lot of money for Derian House in memory of Harry. If we achieve that then all the pain and effort will be worthwhile and will make reaching Nice a very special moment for all of us involved, especially for Paul," explained Lampkin.
Dougie ended with a smile and added. "I know this might sound strange from a Yorkshireman, however please dig deep and give generously!"
To learn more about the challenge, Derian House and Harry please visit www.pedaldealps.com
Donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/pedaldealps or by sending cheques payable to Derian House to Pedal de Alps HQ, 3 The Old Court House, Tenterden Street, Bury, UK - BL9 0AL
Ed: Trials Central will make a substantial donation to this event if it can be arranged for Jake Miller to remain in Nice. Permanently :o)