On this page you can find all information about my participation in the Alpe d’HuZes challenge 2012, Bike Rebel WITH a cause for once.
(Nederlandse versie hier)
What is it?
Alpe d’HuZes is an initiative to raise funds for cancer research; the participants help fight cancer by cycling up the Alpe d’Huez a maximum if six times one day. They raise funds by finding sponsors that are willing to donate money; this can be either a fixed amount or for instance an (increasing) amount per climb they accomplish.
The name, Alpe d’HuZes, is a contraction of the Dutch word for six – ‘zes’ – and the name of the mountain. It is endorsed by the KWF Kankerbestrijding (the Dutch Cancer Society), LiveStrong Foundation and Inspire2Live.
The dream – the ultimate goal – is for cancer to evolve from a deadly disease into a chronic illness. The guys from Team AD6 Tweets share this dream and for that they participated in Alpe d’HuZes 2012.
“If at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it” – Albert Einstein
Why did I participate?
Unfortunately most of us will be – and many of us already have been – confronted with cancer. Sometimes, all the research and (current) knowledge is just not enough, but I personally know of people who are alive today because of a medicine or treatment that did not exist 5 or 10 years ago. And, even better, more and more people actually survive some form of cancer. So, research is crucial and for that, a lot of money is needed.
My direct motivation to do more than ‘just donate’ comes from personal experience with cancer; people – family and friends – struggling for their lives right now, loved ones lost already. Fortunately, I’m (considered) quite healthy myself and I do like cycling, and despite being an average climber at best, preferably in the high mountains.
For some this might be as hard to understand as much as it is for me to explain. While uphill cycling is arguably more difficult, it’s a strange balance between the pain of the physical challenge, the satisfaction of completing it and the awesomeness of the surroundings and the often spectacular views once you’ve reached the top.
So, participants of the Alpe d’HuZes take it upon them to cycle up the Alpe d’Huez (Wiki) as many times as possible, but six times (‘zes’ in Dutch) is the maximum number allowed. Many participants get extra motivation from getting their sponsors to raise the stakes every climb they complete.
By participating, I was going to raise as much money as possible. I eventually managed to collect around 2.600 Euro, the team total was around 25.000 Euro.
Team AD6 Tweets was completely formed through Twitter. Jeroen de Haas sent out a tweet asking who would be interested to form a team to participate in the 2012 edition. He received several responses quickly and I think I was 5th or 6th. Some early responders later dropped out again, but we found replacement idiots for them and by the time the subscription opened, we were eight: Jeroen de Haas, Daniël Kool, Marten Terpstra, Stefan Willemen, Ronnie Kluitenberg, Werner Wessels, Roelof Bruins and myself.
Once our subscription was confirmed, we had several meetings and started to train together. For a bunch of individuals having no prior history together – unlike many other teams – being family, colleagues or members of a cycling club – we managed to forge a strong team and I’m proud to have been a member of it.
The Alpe d’HuZes motto: TO QUIT IS NOT AN OPTION!
B.t.w. my personal motto is: Aut non tentaris, aut perfice (“Either don’t attempt it, or finish it” – Ovidius, Ars Amatoria) – there is no such thing as coincidence 🙂