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Pretty in Pink

| Cycling Plus | 23/11/2010 17:36pm

As every self respecting young boy knows only girls wear pink. Boys wear blue. Or black. Or red. But never pink, says Rapha Condor Sharp pro Ben Greenwood.

Then as you grow up. The colour pink grows on you. Suddenly it’s an option. Something for a special occasion. You might try to bluff it by calling it salmon or magenta, but everyone knows it’s pink. And you don’t feel too bad about it. It’s just a colour. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Of course if you were being sceptical you would say I only like pink because my team kit contains a fair bit of it. That’s true, but unlike the T-Mobile kit of old, our use of it is a bit more subtle. A splash of pink is cool. Too much is overkill. That’s something the joker might wear when fighting Batman. He can get away with outlandish outfits. He’s a Supervillan. The rest of us can’t. We don’t live in Gotham City.

So why am I writing about a colour. And such a girly colour at that. Well it just so happens that those mother loving, bum bag wearing, metrosexuals from Italy also like pink. In fact they like it so much the leader of their national tour gets such a coloured jersey for the honour. Now before we go on lets be clear. The Maglia Rosa is cool and iconic. Matching shorts, socks, glasses, bikes etc most certainly are not. Vincenzo Nibali take note.

Pink also has another significance. Apart from being the name of a pop star. And a hair colour if you want to rebel or stand out from the crowd. And a perfume… It’s also the colour chosen for breast cancer charities. They have walks where women wear pink bras to raise money to fight breast cancer. It’s a cause which gets a lot of media attention.

And it’s a cause which means a lot to me. I know first hand how cancer can change lives. Everyone expects to go to their parents funerals at some point in their life. But not when you’re eleven. Not when you need your mother most. At least one good thing came of it. I found my hero. I’ve never faced death before but I certainly expect it will scare me. If my mum was scared she never showed it. Not to me anyway. She never complained. She never snapped. In the end it was a fight that was only ever going to have one winner. Breast cancer won.

So why am I writing about this now? It happened 15 years ago. I dealt with it a long time ago. My life’s changed a lot since then. Why talk about the past?

Well because while I might have changed. Some things haven’t. Modern medicine might mean more people survive cancer. But it’s still deadly. And in some cases on the increase. And now I’ve got a chance to do something about it. Raising money for charity is something other people do. While you sit at home worrying about what luxury item to buy. Other people are giving up their time to help others. Good for them you think. But do you do anything to help. Maybe. Maybe not.

The trouble is there are so many charities. Which one do you pick? While breast cancer might be getting all the news stories. There’s another more silent killer on the prowl. This is prostate cancer. Men are too proud to get cancer. They are too manly to admit it.  Well, unfortunately not. And denial isn’t going to help it.

As a team we’ve been luckily enough for the last two years to be sponsored by Sharp. The team’s jersey in 2009 were filled with the words Sharp4Prostrate. This was to show the companies support for the Prostrate Cancer Charity. And in 2010 a team from Sharp including the UK Managing Director Paul Molyneux took part in the RAAM. The Race Across America. And they did very well. But racing across America. Non stop. With little sleep. On a bike. That’s not fun. Only crazy people do that.

But in 2011 there’s a new kid on the block. A new challenge. And this time it’s in the land of pizza, ice cream and grappa. Italy. With it’s epic mountains and stunning scenery. And the occasional ‘bella donna’ to take your eyes off the road.

But only pro’s get to ride round Italy. You have to be a superstar to the do the Giro d’Italia don’t you? Well no. Not any more. In 2011 you can take part in the Prostrate Cancer Charity supported by Sharp, Gran Corsa d’Italia (www.grancorsa.com) covering the whole 3 week long route starting on 29th May 2011. The ride will be launched in London on 13th December but the ride is open to people from all nationalities so give it a go.

What an opportunity. You could be one of those fund raising people. Completing the challenge of a lifetime. And saving lives while you do it. The riders of Rapha Condor Sharp will be there. Will You?

This blog is dedicated to Clare Greenwood, 2nd April 1949 – 18th December 1995.

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