Justin Packshaw - Skiing with the wounded
Another update from Justin Packshaw sent to us on 20/3/12
Where do the months go! I cannot believe that it is three months since I lasted scribbled a few words on my love affair with my new Whyte Montpellier stealth steed. What a joy it is getting anywhere on this thoroughbred. Quick, agile, lean and yet, oh so comfortable. Like anything that is made with precision, care and a fair dose of design innovation, when you are using them they somehow make you feel better, almost superhuman, certainly, unusually cool.
I have nearly racked up 3000 miles now. Pretty much just commuting to work and then using the bike when I need to cut through the London traffic to get to a meeting. Butter and hot knife spring to mind.
As I mentioned in my last download I am co-leading an expedition later in the year to Antarctica to ski to the Geographic South Pole with four incredibly inspirational wounded soldiers from my old Army Regiment, The Royal Dragoon Guards. The expedition is called ‘In the Footsteps of Legends’ and ties in with the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s mammoth race to conquer the South Pole. Interestingly, one of his final team members was Captain Lawrence Oates and by chance he used to be in my old Regiment so it is very fitting that these four remarkable soldiers are re-tracing his epic journey.
(David Hempleman-Adams, four inspirational wounded teammates and Justin Packshaw)
We will have a website up and running soon so I will keep you informed on it all and our progress with our training. Suffice to say, the legs are getting stronger and I try and keep in the lowest gears possible as I clip around.
I would like to sign off by thanking Richard and John as well as the team at Cycles UK in Harrods for all their continued help in supporting me and the charities. Onwards and upwards …..
Justin Packshaw - Mount Everest Climb
This is Justin Packshaws report on a Everest climb he did in 2011.
The Ultimate Ride
What a year it has been! I spent two months away in the Himalaya’s climbing Mount Everest from the Tibetan side along the infamous North Ridge – what a trip. It was full of everything one could possibly associate with trying to summit this majestic wonder of the world – drama, sweat, danger, frustration, fear, trust, exhaustion and exhilaration. Fortunately four of us made the summit but more importantly all ten of our team made it down safely, no mean feat on those big mountains. If you’d like to read more about it go to www.deroemereverest.com.
As an ex-soldier we were raising money for various military charities (Walking with the Wounded and The Warrior Program) and on returning I started scheming as to my next trip and means to raise some more money for our brave service personal. It did not take too long to come up with a plan. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Scott and Amundsen’s race to conquer the South Pole and so in conjunction with ‘Walking with the Wounded’ we will be taking several injured soldiers to Antarctica to ski to the Geographic South Pole. It will be an amazing trip and I cannot wait to spend time with these amazing individuals.
Once I had sorted this out I realised that I needed to keep my fitness levels up so I started looking at how I could do that around living and working in London. My wife and I own and run the fashion label De Roemer (www.deroemer.com). I decided that I would start cycling into and back from work a round trip of 15 miles. I mentioned this to one of the Directors of my company who is also involved with Harrods and he suggested that I talk to Cycles UK in Harrods. This I did and ended up talking to the very charming John Malcolm who liked what I was trying to do and very kindly talked to Richard Schofield, the Managing Director of Cycles UK, who agreed to provide me with a Whyte Montpellier Urban bike.
I have had a few fabulous pieces of mechanical excellence in my time and this bike has got to be one of them. It is quite exceptional and rightly deserves the tag, the ultimate stealth bike. It weighs a staggering 8kg even though it has a full set of gears, disc brakes and all the other important trimmings one requires when roaring around any busy city. It is so beautifully made and designed one wonders why it is not in the Design Museum.
As you might have guessed I am thrilled with it and have already done over 700 miles on it. As part of my training for next year’s jaunt down south we are scheming to cycle from London to Paris with a relay swim across the Channel to keep us up with our cold training.
I would like to sign off by thanking Richard and John as well as the team at Cycles UK in Harrods for all their help and supporting me and the charities. I shall report back as my training continues. Happy New Year.