The following seven members of the teaching staff from Y Pant School will be taking part in the Mint-To-Mint cycling challenge on 13th June. Mark Powell, Bryn Jones, Mark Pearsall, Gareth Battle, Dai Mortimer, Mani Pelaez-Heras and Ian Mitchell. None of us is a spring chicken; so much so that our average age is over 45! There follows a little information about some of those participating in the ride and we hope this will spur you on to donating to the charity in the usual way by sending cash in via the pupils to any of us or by clicking on the following link and donating via the Just Giving website. https://www.justgiving.com/wayne-griffiths9/
Here are some of us at the start of our most recent training ride.
And 90 km later still looking as fresh as daisies.
Hello there, my name is Mark Pearsall and I have had the good fortune to be a teacher at Y Pant School for nearly 15 years. I’m a comparative newcomer to the joys of cycling; only taking to the saddle on a reasonably regular basis since last November. About 2 weeks after taking to the road and having not cycled more than 15 miles I experienced a vision on a dark country lane near Porthcawl at 6 O’clock on a frosty morning. The vision informed me that I should arrange a cycle ride from the Royal Mint in Llantrisant to the old mint in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. The challenge should be called the ‘Mint to Mint Challenge’ and should be completed in a day by a pilgrimage of similar middle aged men in lycra who also felt the need to affirm their status in society. I believed that people would scoff and deride my vision but I was wrong and a number of colleagues from school and Newton Lifeguard Club in Porthcawl committed themselves to a rigorous and punishing training regime to prepare for this cycling pilgrimage to my original spawning ground.
To paraphrase the film ‘Gladiator’; “For those of you who are about to cycle- We salute you!!” Strength and honour!!
I`m Ian Mitchell. I`ve been the Head of Welsh here for 23 and a half years (not that I`m counting!). As an enthusiastic and, it has been suggested, even obsessive cyclist it was natural for me to be involved in this challenge. I wasn`t so much asked as told: “Yeah, Mitch will do it” is how I remember it. However, participating is a no-brainer as this charity is close to my heart, as it for so many of us here in South Wales. As someone remarked to me the other day, there are very few of us who have not been touched by the wonderful work done at Velindre. Being well past the half century in years on this planet the thought of cycling 130 miles is rather daunting and I`ve had to re-evaluate my usual cycling technique of getting to the top as quickly as possible and then blasting down the other side at breakneck speeds. I know my mountain biking buddies will scoff at that but in my mind I don`t half go fast! In fact, check me out on Strava (in the aged 50 plus category, please). A couple of the less experienced cyclists wanted to know about my cycling strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side is my body`s ability to fuel up with carbohydrates. The negative? I eat too much bread! This is why being a MAMIL is not a good thing for me. Please support our efforts in this challenge. We are going to be well out of our comfort zone and would appreciate your going over to the just giving page and donating what you can. Diolch.
Hello everyone. I’m Mark Powell, the headteacher of Y Pant School. I’ve worked here for 9 years and have been in education for nearly 25. I can no longer deny that I am middle-aged!
On consideration of Mr Pearsall’s vision, two questions came to mind:
- how hard can the training be?
- how athletic would I look in lycra?
- not at all.
How I wish I could reverse those answers….
So, anyway, I signed up, replaced my battered old bike, donned the lycra, avoided full length mirrors and set out on the roads. And it really isn’t just about the bike: I’ve discovered a whole new vocabulary, a world of cadence, cleats and chamois cream (don’t ask….). But I’m thoroughly enjoying it, finding things out about myself and aching in places I had never considered before! Most of all, I’m proud to be part of a group committed to making a contribution to such a wonderful cause.
Here we go: rolling, rolling, rolling…..
Hola amigos, I am Manuel Pelaez-Heras “MPH” (Fastest teacher by name). I have been teaching in the UK for the last 12 years, PE first and ALN for the last 7. I am addicted to cycling since growing up as a child in sunny Spain, too much at times. I would label myself as “The best Spanish cyclist in the school”. Mentioning cycling and challenge was the catch for me, helping Cancer research bought me straight. I have lost people I still love and I know people suffering cancer.
I know 130 miles sounds crazy-loco but it is nothing compared to the tough situation people suffering cancer get through and not to forget their families and friends.
I am looking forward to cycling with the “Y Pant Lycra Gang” (YPLG) and having an amazing experience with the thought of helping in my mind and legs.
Please, please, please support us on this challenge page and donate via the Just Giving.
Thanks, diolch, gracias.
Head of PE and Taff Trail Challenge finisher last year, Dai Mortimer.
Head of Geography and seasoned triathlete, Gareth Battle.
Assistant Headteacher and Taff Trail Challenge finisher, Bryn Jones.