Update: Moved to 18th and 19th October and looking like a revised route.
Over the years we (Sands and I) have become huge lovers of the Galgo Español, and have regularly writtten about their atrocious plight here in Spain, on the site.
For me it started on 22nd October 2011 when I had the privilege to meet and transport Briken a Galgo Español from Jaen. Briken was the fist Galgo I had come across, and he was also the first dog that we transported (at the time of writing we have transported 1,323 dogs, of which 170 have been Galgos).
Subsequently Sands and I have adopted (or more accurately been adopted by) two Galgos: Teo & Tigra (Teo we came across wandering the streets of Almerimar, while Tigra we adopted from 112 Carlota Galgos).
It has become a priority for both Sands and I to help this amazing breed, and those that have dedicated their lives to rescuing them, as much as we can. With 6 adopted cats as well as our 2 Galgos, and a monthly schedule which means I am away 6-9 days a month with our Pet Transport Business, further adoptions or even fostering are not an option (especially as we usually have house guests each month either side of the transports!).
With respect to the transports we have (I like to think) established good relationships with a number of Galgo Rescues here in Spain, and regularly transport for 112 Carlota Galgos (UK, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland), Galgos en Familia (Belgium and France), and Galgos del Sol (Belgium). I should say at this point that this is due in no small part to the support these rescues receive from Greyhounds Rescue Belgium and Greyhounds in Need (UK).
I am a recent convert to cycling (started January 2014), and at the age of 51, with dodgy knee, back, neck, and shoulder I should know better, but I am going to do a Bike Ride to raise awareness of the plight of the Galgo, and hopefully raise some money to help them, IF people wish to donate (direct to the rescues is fine)
I have been mulling over a series of Bike Rides to raise awareness and funds for some time, and was starting to plan a few for 2015 (which I will still do if I survive this one), but by chance I came across a Facebook posting from Barry Harrison:
Initially, and I have no idea why, I thought Barry was in the UK so I sent him a message wishing him luck, and saying I was thinking of doing something similar in Spain.
Chatting on line it became apparent he was in Spain: the clue was in the route he was planning from Vilafranco del Guardalhorce to Granada, and that I would have time to get myself fit(ter) and join him.
So far we have set the 13th October as the date, departing from his house at 6.30am and cycling to the centre of Granada.
It is his ride so his route and his rules, but he has sent through a couple of possible routes: 128.42km on Bikely and 107.1km on RAC, both of which (thankfully) seem less than the original post of 240km, but I am refusing to get excited by that!
At the moment I am just focusing on getting fit enough to do the ride (unfortunately not something any of you can help with), and finding someone to be the support Driver (Sunday night from Almerimar to Malaga, then up to Granada on the Monday and then back to Almerimar) – I think I will have to pay somebody, Sands is hopeful that someone will volunteer as is for a good cause!
If peoiple do wish to donate then please donate directly to 112 Carlota Galgo, Galgos en Famailia, or Galgos del Sol.
I also promise that I will 100% support another great cause taking place on the same day:
My tatas will be well and truly free!
How You Can Help
I know that this is ‘another’ request to support the plight of the Galgos here in Spain, and that may well not be your cup of tea.
I know there is a danger that we are all ‘fishing in the same pond’ when it comes to asking for financial support.
I know that many of you have your own preferred transport company that you would prefer to support.
I know that many of you are thoroughly decent, supportive people who want to help.
I know that many of you are going to want to ‘have a go’, ‘create some rumours’, ‘sling some mud’
So this is what you can do:
Not your cup of tea: no problem at all, but it might be your friends so please share what we are doing.
Prefer another transport company: no issue at all.
A decent person: give us some cash, promote the ride, share the love!
Want to ‘have a go’: don’t waste your, or anybody else’s time, life is too short, and the dogs wont understand you anyway!
If you want to donate PayPal is firstname.lastname@example.org (please indicate it is for the bike ride and note any specific requests you have). If you prefer to pledge an amount and wait until the ride has been completed then send me an email or leave a comment on this post, or any Twitter or Facebook update you see this on.
And for those of you that like such things here is the Facebook Event Link
Garmin 510: will be using the Garmin on the ride, and during training, so if you use Garmin Connect feel free to add me. On the assumption I can import the planned route I will be using the Garmin for this as well.
Strava: only just signed up to this so not 100% sure how I will be using it but go ahead and follow me and I will follow you back so we can share the experience!
GoPro: will of course have the GoPro Hero3 attached to the bike so will post some post ride video to the ALStrays You Tube Account
Live Video: will stream some live video from the ride to our ALStrays Bambuser Account
Live Tracking: once we set off I will install the Live Tracking onto this page as well so people can follow the whole route, should that be of any remote interest!
Fitness: I will start training on 1st August when I get back from our July Transport. That gives me about 10 weeks, but with a Transport in September and October I really have 8 weeks. That should be enough time, but my concern is that I really do need to shift a lot of weight to do myself justice, and am concerned that the weight loss will be too much and will impede the fitness.
Body: I am a wreck! Knee, back, neck, shoulder and hip all have long term chronic issues from my ‘sporting days’. So far cycling has been really good for them, but time will tell if the body can stand up to the training and then the long ride.
The Well Is Dry: as I said above I am aware that a lot of organisations are asking the same people for support all the time. Hopefully we can reach some new people and at least make them aware of the plight of the Galgo.
First Time: this will be my first long distance ride. I am not sure how many KM I need to be able to do before the start, so need to figure out how many per ride and per week I need to build to. What support needed on the day? To be honest I am really looking forward to the challenge!
Thanks for reading this, and hopefully for supporting it. I am off to work out how to get fit, to stock up on Electrolyte Drinks, Energy Gel, and Chamois Butter and figure out just how much of my body I will be shaving!
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