I'm going to ride my bicycle 4300 miles across the USA in the 2018 Trans Am Bike raising urgently needed funds for the Iskele Dog Shelter in Northern Cyprus.
The Dogs REALLY NEED your urgent help RIGHT NOW! Northern Cyprus has a massive number of stray, abused, sick & injured Dogs. The situation is out of control and this shelter, although totally swamped, is doing all it can to save as many of these innocent distraught Dogs as possible. But it's not easy. The centre URGENTLY needs funds to pay for the simple basics, like FOOD, Vets, dog blankets, bowls and above all right now VACCINATIONS. The Island has recently suffered major outbreaks of Distemper and in this rescue centre alone some 70+ dogs have died because of lack of proper vaccinations and care facilities! MORE DOGS WILL DIE without the proper care they NEED.
Although set up by the local council the centre relies on volunteers to save these poor dogs. Volunteer comment:
"Our group is about making the lives of the stray and abandoned dogs in the Iskele dog shelter better. A small, dedicated team of volunteers regularly visit the shelter at weekends to feed, clean and play with the dogs that are there - through no fault of their own. Any money raised goes directly to paying for better food and urgent medication that is needed. The local council are in overall charge of the shelter and are working harder now (thanks to a bit of pressure) to improve facilities. For example, a veterinary block is being built and solar panels put up.
On this page
we shall keep you up to date with all developments at the shelter and we (and our furry friends) are grateful for your interest and support - wherever you are xxx"
The volunteers do a fantastic job with almost zero resources. It is also very demanding work, both physically and emotionally. Here is a recent volunteer comment:
"Those of you that have attended the Shelter recently will remember the shy, quiet & sad eyed little girl in pen 11. She would perch herself on the food box in her pen and just sit & stare ignoring any commotion going on around her. If you entered her pen she would run & try to hide and it was almost impossible to touch her or even give her a treat. She left a lasting impression & when I recently returned briefly to the U.K. I couldn’t get her sad, haunting, emotionless face out of my head. A couple of weeks ago, you may recall, we had a bad day at the Shelter arriving on a Sunday morning to a scene of utter carnage after two pens were left open resulting in dogs running amok, fighting & creating a chaotic mess in the walkway. One of the ‘offending’ pens was number 11 but when I arrived she was the only dog still inside, still sat on her perch, nervously watching the events going on all around her. I decided that I would try to befriend her and, on my next visit, take her for a walk. Easier said than done! When I entered the pen she was again trying to hide & resisting all attempts for any contact. I eventually managed to loop the rope lead around her neck which caused her to panic & frantically struggle. In her eyes I guess it was like a noose as she had no recognition that a lead meant walkies. I persevered and got her out of the pen, kennel block and away from the Shelter. She then seemed to calm down and I decided, maybe foolishly, to let her off the lead to allow her to run around for some meaningful exercise. I’m glad I did, it was a joy to watch. She started leaping around like a gazelle, running through the long grass, new & different smells, releasing all her built up insecurities, a free spirit. This may well have been the first time she had ever seen the outside world. I’ll admit now that it was a hard job to get her back (after all she didn’t understand). At one stage I thought she’d run off and I’d lost her but, no, after a few minutes of worry on my part she returned to the entrance to the Shelter and, with much relief, I was able to return her reluctantly to pen 11. Things have dramatically changed now. She completely trusts me & eagerly awaits my visits sitting not nervously on her box but excitedly by the door of her pen, hoping for a sight of that lead, knowing that she will soon be going for another walk. We have bonded and I am able to recall her, fuss with her & even tickle her belly. With so many dogs at the shelter I guess I really shouldn’t have favourites but . . . . . she’s my favourite. The purpose of this story is to illustrate how worthwhile volunteering can be. It can be very tough & challenging but also so very rewarding. Please join us if you can. I should add that this beautiful little girl is still available for adoption & will make a wonderful loyal & loving pet."
Your kind donation will go directly to the Volunteer group and used to provide the urgent needs of these poor Dogs. Their lives matter, we can help save them, and hopefully get them adopted into caring human homes. Your donation will in short directly improve each Dogs life expectancy and quality of life at the shelter, and chances of leading a happy life once adopted. Without such kind help, many face an extended period of illness and likely more will continue to suffer & die.
The Transam bike race is the longest self supported endurance bicycle race on the planet. The route covers a distance or around 4300 miles which is roughly twice the distance of the Tour De France. Riders will climb the equivalent of 5.72 times the height of Mount Everest on this route. I've been training as much as I can this year and have ridden 3629 miles so far in 2018 and climbed 171,634 feet, so less than the race will demand but I feel ready. This race is 'unsupported' meaning riders are not allowed to have ANY help at all, no support vehicles, no help whatsoever outside being able to use 'commerical establishments such as shops publicly available along the route'. There are no team mechanics, no doctors, and each rider is 100% on their own. The first finishers in the last two years took just 18 &17 days. An average of approximatley 240 miles a day on a heavy loaded bike with all the equipment you need to cross the United States with NO support. I am 56 and much less likely to achieve that! My aim is simply to get across as fast I can safely however long that may take. There is no prize for finishing or winning. Just your own pride. It truely is a real endurance test, both on and off of the bike.
How do you follow the Trans am bike race?
I will be carrying a GPS spot tracker device on my bicycle. You can see the rider gps location updates here:
The race starts on June 2nd 2018 so the gps trackers won't be switched on until then. Go to the site and click on Transam bike race when it starts.
There is a Facebook group worth joining if you want to follow all the race 'chat' as it happens, you will get a more interactive 'race following experience' by joining this group.
and if you want to learn more about the race just google Transam bike race.
There is a list of confirmed riders here:
50% of riders in this race do not make it to the finish. It's not an easy ride! I have made it across before and fully intend to do so again, only faster. I make no guarantees other than I will do my very best, and all donations will go directly to the Dog volunteers and used ONLY for the direct benefit of the Dogs they care for regardless of if I finish or not.
I have privately fully funded all my Race expenses, such as flights, bike, equipment, specialized clothing, GPS units, mechanical stuff, insurance & a thousand other things ! That means every penny you give will directly benefit the Dogs & is not in anyway being used to support my race costs. I am not a registered charity. I just want to help these poor unfortunate Dogs because thier lives matter . Please donate on that basis.