Daryl Mitchell says his mental strength will help him to conquer the challenge of pedalling 360 miles during the Professional Cricketers’ Association Big Bike Ride 3 which gets underway on Friday.
The Worcestershire opener warmed up for the five day test of endurance by clocking up 66 miles in a four and a half hour training ride around the Midlands and hilly Cotswolds.
The 33-year-old will face an average similar amount of miles each day from Friday to next Tuesday with the third stage ending on Sunday afternoon at New Road.
All proceeds from Big Bike Ride 3 will be shared between the PCA Benevolent Fund and the Tom Maynard Trust.
But Mitchell and his father-in-law Mel Saunders have already surpassed their initial target of raising £2,000.
Mitchell said: “To say I’m looking forward to it would be a lie but when I look back on it when I’m finished, it will be something to be pretty proud of and a great achievement.
“Will it be a big challenge? Probably more mentally than anything but that is probably where my strength lies, probably more mental than physical at times.
“It will be a shock to the system but I can be quite determined and quite stubborn when I put my mind to something so I’m sure I’ll get through and get through the 360 miles in five days
“I did 66 miles in one go when training but that was with about 4,000 feet of climbing in that as well so it was tough.
“I went from Evesham to Warwick and Stratford and up into the Cotswolds and around Chipping Camden and places like that and through Broadway back to Eversham.
“It was very hilly and very tiring. It took me about four and a half hours. That was the toughest one I’ve done.
“I think day one of the bike ride is 90 miles so hopefully it is a little flatter than that!”
Mitchell added: “How much amI hoping to raise? The initial target for myself and my father in law was £2000.
“But we are well into the £2000s now and hopefully in the coming weeks and days we can keep topping that up.
“It is for a great cause and, as chairman of the PCA, I’m a trustee of the Benevolent Fund so it is a cause very close to my heart.
“The PCA is an organisation that does an incredible amount of work for a large number of people, not just the high profile cases you see.”
Anyone wanting to back Daryl and donate to the causes he is riding on behalf of should go to the page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/darylmitchell1
The first two Big Bike Rides in 2013 and 2015 raised more than £320,000 and this year’s event takes on added significance as 2017 is the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s 50th anniversary. A Legacy Year Appeal has been launched to raise an extra £250,000 for the PCA Benevolent Fund.
Big Bike Ride 3, which is generously sponsored by Full-Time Cover insurance and Sanderson Contracts, will start at Edgbaston on October 13 and finish on October 17 at the SSE SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff where Tom Maynard, who died in tragic circumstances in 2012, played his formative cricket and where the Trust set up in his name is based.
The PCA Benevolent Fund was set up in 2000, and supports past and present cricketers, and their immediate family members in times of hardship and upheaval.
The Tom Maynard Trust was set up in 2012 and supports aspiring young sports people in a number of ways including sponsorship of the PCA’s annual Rookie Camp.