By Milenka Frkovich
Peru This Week
(Note: This article originally ran in Peru This Week‘s sister publication, The Break.)
Throughout my life I have seen many people, including close friends and family, struggle with cancer. This horrible disease serves as a wake up call to all of us, not only to take care of our own health and to get checked out, but also to be grateful for each day of life that we are given.
This is why campaigns against breast cancer and other diseases are taking place all over the world and even here in Peru. Many people have been motivated to start and participate in these campaigns, with the goal of making a change for the good.
This is the story of Christopher Kyle, a 33-year-old man from England with whom I had the chance to get in contact. He has taken a challenge to cycle from Machu Picchu to the Amazon to raise £5000 (about S/. 20,300) to help people at Breast Cancer Care in the United Kingdom.
His interest began not too long after his mother began her own cancer battle, and now he wants to help others who are struggling for their lives, a worthy mission that could use our help.
The Break: What charity have you chosen and why?
Christopher Kyle: I have chosen Breast Cancer Care because of the reasons I have shown in my story on my page at Just Giving.
TB: How much do you hope to raise?
CK: I have set myself a target of £5000, I would love to blast past this target and raise more though!
TB: As you are from England, why did you choose to cycle in Peru?
CK: I am able to choose any charity I wish on this challenge so it allows me to raise money for a charity very close to my heart for personal reasons. I have always wanted to go to Peru, I have many friends who have been there so I hope that, whilst I may not have a chance to see a lot of the typical tourist areas, it will be a good way to make a first visit there whilst also helping others.
The trip does have a tour of Machu Picchu at the start, which is somewhere I have always wanted to see. This is the most challenging cycle ride that there was available and so I was keen to have a target to focus on so that I can push myself this year with the training and hopefully raise a good amount of money to help those who really need it.
TB: Would this be your first time in Peru?
CK: Yes this will be my first time in Peru. I hope that it will be a good opportunity to see lots of the countryside there and hopefully in the future I will want to return to see more as a tourist.
TB: What route will you be doing and what will be involved?
CK: Around 300kms in total.
Here is the itinerary:
Day 1: Depart UK to Lima, Peru.
Day 2: Fly Lima to Cusco
Day 3: Guided Tour of Machu Picchu
Day 4: Cycle along Sacred Valley to Pisac – approx 60kms biking
Day 5: Cycle ascent and descent in the Andes , camp at Colquepata – approx 50kms
Day 6: Descend to Paucartambo. Challenging, climb to Tres Cruces – 62kms
Day 7: Descent into Cloud Forest – 64kms
Day 8: Cycle deeper into the Rainforest – 65kms
Day 9: Return to the Andes by vehicle
Day 10: Fly Cusco to Lima. Depart Lima to UK
TB: When will you be doing it?
CK: 26th of September 2013
TB: How long do you expect it to take?
CK: The cycling will be made in five days from the Andes to the Amazon. So, around 60kms a day at high altitude on rock terrain. The total trip will take nine days. Some time for travel and some time for my body to acclimatize to the high altitude in the first few days and some time for travel back to the Andes and link flights back to Lima after the cycling.
TB: How is this type of activity different from your normal job?
CK: My job is very much office -based and is only really physical when I have to deal with new stock arriving at my warehouse [He owns a brand of sports sunglasses that has been operating for about 7 years]. I have met some interesting people through my job who I have sold cycling glasses to and this had led me to an interest in the sport.
TB: Do you do much cycling in your spare time?
CK: I cycle quite a lot in my spare time. I have created some good routes with amazing scenery all around my town in the countryside. It’s a great way to explore your local area and you can either enjoy it when you need some times to yourself or go with friends. I combine road cycling with off-road cycling, which I think it the best way to explore your surrounding area. So there are no real limits to where I can go. I wish I did it earlier, as I have discovered so many amazing places just within 50km of my home, which I would never get to see by car. I usually cycle anywhere between 50 and 200km a week depending on spare time, available time, weather and any goals I have set myself for that month. I obviously hope to increase this over the next 9 months before my challenge.
TB: How much training do you need to do and what’s the routine?
CK: I have been given a training schedule, which aims to build me up to an excellent level of fitness to achieve this task. It is a combination of cardiovascular and strength training along with different terrains (hills and descents) on the bike. I am planning to achieve the required level of fitness well before the challenge date.
TB: Where are you going to train?
CK: I will train mainly within 70km of my surrounding area but will also be doing some trips for more challenging terrain in the UK such as Mount Snowdon in Wales and The Downs in Brighton, UK during the spring and summer.
TB: Are you doing the route with anyone else?
CK: Currently there are no other people doing this challenge but I am told there usually ends up being around 8 to 10 people who sign up to do it each year.
TB: What else are you expecting in this trip?
CK: I hope this trip will help me to raise the full target of £5000 for Breast Cancer Care, hopefully more. I have currently raised just over £3000, which is amazing, I have an amazing group of family and friends. Many people who I don’t even know have also made donations, which is really overwhelming. I hope that it will be a unique way to see Peru and I meet lots of new people and I hope it will mean that I will want to return again in the future.
For more information about Chris and his story, and to make a donation, please visit Christopher’s Just Giving site.