My friend Damian Watson and motley companions have begun the Crohn’s Crusade, riding the entire 3400 km of the 2009 Tour de France to raise awareness of, and funds to help conduct research into, Crohn’s disease, a nasty, debilitating, chronic disease in which one’s immune system attacks one’s intestines. Both he and I suffer mild cases of this disease. Any money raised is going straight to Crohn’s and Colitis Australia for research.
As mentioned in this earlier post, I’m heading over to Barcelona on Sunday, to join him over roughly 600 kilometres of the Pyrenees. I know there’s all manner of good causes you can all donate your money to, but this is another one, and if any of you could put your hands in your pockets and donate a few dollars it’d be much appreciated. If you’d like to donate now, you can do so through the link on this page.
But there’s more! If you wait a few days, you can have the extra thrill of inflicting some additional pain and suffering on me along the way – perhaps for something I’ve said on the blog. Have I insulted your favourite renewable energy technology? Cheered on price signals on emissions trading once too often? Ignored your favourite piece of wilderness? Indulged in sophistry when there’s whales to be saved? Made one too many spelling misteaks? Here’s the chance to get some of your own back. Make part of your contribution contingent on my time up the rather long and steep mountain pass known as the Col du Tourmalet.
The climb of the Col du Tourmalet is 17.2 kilometres long, and rises 1268 metres at an average gradient of 7.4%. That is only slightly longer than the climb up Mount Donna Buang, which I did last weekend in 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 30 seconds. However, that cilmb is only a 6.4% average gradient. If you play round with the calculators at this site, it suggests that it would take me roughly an hour and a half to climb the Tourmalet, all things being equal.
However, all things won’t be equal. I will have already ridden roughly 70 kilometres that day, up a pass nearly as big. The day before, I will have ridden 176 kilometres over a route almost as hilly. Two days before that, I will have ridden 224 kilometres over another set of hills. Given all that, it’ll probably take me considerably over an hour and a half. But how much?
Well, to some extent that’s up to you. If people want to incentivize me to push myself over the Tourmalet, make part of your donation contingent on how much I beat two hours – for instance, donate an extra 50 cents or a dollar for every minute I beat the two-hour mark by.
Once I complete the climb, I’ll post my time on LP, and those who’ve committed to donate can then do so through Damian’s website (which I’ll link to again for convenience).
I’ll match all donations one-for-one up to a maximum of $1000.
So is anybody in?
Hoping not to hear crickets chirping…