Cycle 4 Leukaemia


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I will update this page regulary, so don't forget to visit :-)

15th January 2010 - Southampton , England .

Cycle 4 Leukaemia Cycling Club is launched .

To assist in making your cycling training and riding more enjoyable, social and rewarding I have decided to start a Cycling Club so that there is an emphasis on friendly fun in the sun . 

20th Nov 2009 - Western Cape , South Africa .

A very courageous Cycle 4 Leukaemia Cycling Team made up of 12 mighty men and women will take on this years 17th Double Century Cycle Challenge . 

The Double Century is a team event over 202 km , with 12 members per team . Starting and finishing in Swellendam in the Western Cape , the route goes through Suurbraak , Barrydale , Montagu , Cogmanskloof , Ashton and Robertson . Although it is a race , it is more about participation and team spirit but I can assure you 202km on a bike is the cycling equivalent of an ultra-marathon . 




 10th October 2009 - Lands End , England

 They said it couldn`t be done - it was impossible ?  Well  ....

Lands End

... 917 miles , 7 hospital and 14 platelet transfusions                             ... nothing is impossible !!!



10th Oct Newquay - Lands End 42 miles

Last day ... 42 miles to Lands End :-) I think emotions are going to be quite high as 19 days of riding comes to and end and the sun sets on an amazing adventure .


Day 19 ... Job done ! What a great day on the bike with the best cycling team in the world . The sun came out for a  truly amazing day :-) .  Riding into Lands End was the best feeling and sharing it with the person I shared it with was exactly how I dreamt it would be - thank you x .

I`ll be sad to wake up tomorrow and not have to get on the bike .

... probably a good thing because I just fall off it .


Oops ...

After 19 days without any incident I over-balance at the end , still clipped in:-) !


9th Oct Bude - Newquay 44 miles 

Day 18 ... done ! The day after a lay day is pure torture . There are so many BIG hills in Cornwall after 40 miles coming into Newquay which nearly finished me off right then and there . I even had to throw up again and sit and take a few minutes with a cup of tea in a cafe` on the beach at Watergate Bay ... then the heavens opened and I got pissed on for the last 30 minutes into Newquay. That`ll teach me to sit and rest :-) .

Staying in a lovely B&B with a really nice owner across the road from a South African night club in Newquay :-)  .

I have got the ultimate food now . A burger closely followed by ice-cream then milkshake !!!

More food

8th Oct LAY DAY in Bude 0 miles :-)

Life`s a beach ! What a fantastic day on a real beach ... in England - amazing ! Life can`t get much better than spending a sunny day on an amazing beach with the best company in the world ... ever !!! Then to have a chelsea bun and coke :-) a real cornish pasty for lunch and a burger for dinner ... I`m in heaven ... I`m moving :-) .

I`m well rested and feel so comfortable , the van is now re-stocked and ready for the home straight .


7th Oct Porlock - Bude 65 miles

Day 16 ... done ! Eish ! I`ve never been so wet and so cold for so long in my life - up hill and down dale all day long . I was shaking so violently at times I thought that I`d crash for sure . Funny ... brakes don`t seem to work in the rain at 45 km/h :-) pretty hair raising times and my phone learnt to swim :-)  Thank goodness for capt. Ollie , even when times are tough , he`s still a comedian . 

We found a lovely B&B right in the middle of Bude , perfect for a lay day in paradise .


6th Oct Avonmouth - Porlock 64 miles

Day 15 ... done ! Ah , what a long day on the bike ... everything hurts . No burgers last night and no porridge this morning ? How is this sex machine suppose to perform on an empty tank ? :-) It is so risky doing what I`m doing - so many people have lost their lives cycling the length of this country - and that got re-affirmed today on a country lane when one of us was nearly run over by a car that came racing around a corner , down this hill , saw us at the last minute so he slammed on his brakes causing him to skid down the road sideways before losing control and crashing head first into a pole closely followed by a grass bank . Thank God we are all still here to tell the tale . God , please bless my team - we are nearly there .  

Porlock - Glen , Ollie and Mike

5th Oct Hereford - Avonmouth 58 miles

Day 14 ... done ! Except 1 mother hill , we had a fantastic day on the bike . We stopped for tea and cake near an Abbey , Glen managed to get us evicted from a pub before we even got in the front door for pissing in the bush , Ollie knocked his beer over in the van doing an illegal right turn , we crossed from Wales back into England ... and I found out by text message that I`m now unemployed - what a scream :-) Some people have no balls !!! 

But I`m having the time of my life - This is how life is meant to be ! :-)

Tintern Abbey

4th Oct Shrewsbury - Hereford

Day 13 ... done ! What a great day . Welcome Team :-) Today I picked up Glen to ride with me and imported a new van driver Ollie to entertain us . What an enjoyable day on the bike and a total laugh all the way ... except the last hill to the B&B - Hamburger Hill :-) I'm pretty tired now but managed to show Glen that cancer patients are still quite strong . Bring on tomorrow cause we have a massive hill to climb before we decend towards South Gloucestershire .

I think Glen can tow me for 58 miles tomorrow ... but don't tell him .

... company

3rd Oct Lay Day

Thank goodness I`m off today because it poured with rain and blew pommies out of pubs all day :-) ! 

The van is re-stocked , the diesel tank is full and I had a hair cut all ready to go !

2nd Oct Warrington - Shrewsbury 54 miles 

Day 11 ... done ! I decided to ride today because tomorrow is going to be bad weather . Man alive , I think I'm getting better at this riding thing :-) because I had such a nice ride to Shrewsbury today in sunshine for a change and was then welcomed by a lovely lady called Jo at a B&B , Charnwood Guest House which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone . Thank you to Jo for washing all my kit too :-)   

Rocket fuel

1st Oct Lancaster - Warrington 57 miles with a transfusion at Liverpool Hospital

Day 10 ... done ! It was a pretty cool ride towards Preston but then I had a van trip thru Preston cause city's are too dangerous . I'm seeing things that I'd never seen before - ever . Liverpool Hospital is now THE BEST HOSPITAL . What a great place !!! I was met by such cool staff and then presented with an envelope which I  initially thought was just a card but  was then told that they has taken a collection in the Haematology Lab and inside the envelope was £150 ...

I was speechless !!! No one had ever shown me such generosity - especially considering they had never met me . A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO THE KIND MEN AND WOMAN OF THE HAEMATOLOGY LAB AT ROYAL LIVERPOOL HOSPITAL .

Windermere - Lake district

30th Sept Carlisle - Lancaster 67 miles .

Day 9 ... done ! Another day another mile on the Penny Farthing :-) .

29th Sept Sanquhar - Carlisle 61 miles .

Day 8 ... done ! Goodbye Scotland ! Out the Scottish Highlands today and crossed the border into England  ... but not before I checked out where you can elope from England , to Scotland to get married in Gretna :-) Are you listening somebody ? I'm sitting in Carlisle hospital now getting 2 bags of platelets , all ready for tomorrow . It's funny because now I can compare hospitals and nurses . So far Inverness is well in the lead - but Carlisle wins the prize for the most trendy looking :-) .

Kissing gate - Gretna Green

28th Sept Largs - Sanquhar 56 miles .

Day 7 ... done ! Wet ... good if you're in the shower , bad if you're decending tarmac mountains at 50 km/h ( especially with trucks passing within 2 feet of me )  . It starts to get a bit eventful when the potholes fill up with water so that you can't see them too . But despite the rain , it was a pretty good day on the bike . I only began to feel sick about 5 miles from Sanquhar . Mikey my van driver flew home today ;-( sad to see him and his antics go ... especially climbing up onto my van roof with one hand in the pouring rain to "get the shot" - you`re the man . 


27th Sept LAY DAY in Largs :-)
Day 6 ... done ! Sleep , sleep , sleep ... and more sleep . I slept till 1pm ;-) . Managed to do a bit of shopping to re-stock the van , got it washed , then went for burgers - yeah ! Trust me to pick one hot enough to burn the hair off my feet ... it should have burnt the hair off my legs instead :-) . 

Ouch - ITP , gotta love it .

26th Sept Tarbet - Largs 54 miles .

Day 5 ... done ! What a great day :-) No wind and a flat road !!!  Awesome ride down Loch Lomond , I'd recommend it to anyone :-) I think today is the best leg of the trip . I wish I had someone to share it with on the bike . After being awake all night with diohrrea I never had any toilet trips today or puking sessions :-) you gotta love that ... except Mikey never managed to film the hot chick on her bike today - shooo she was even too quick for Mike "Armstrong" to catch :-) .   

Gourock ferry

25th Sept. Fort William - Tarbet 68 miles  .

Day 4 ... done ! I went to check out Ben Nevis today before I started riding - maybe i`ll climb it one day ... but today it`s about the bike . The stomach cramps and now diahorrea as well throwing up are making it pretty uncomfortable going  - I kept having to go from toilet to toilet :-) not cool .

Loch Lomond

24th Sept Inverness - Fort William 65 miles .

Day 3 ... done ! After yesterdays antics I only threw up twice today but managed to get pushed into the bushes by a bus in the pouring rain just outside Fort William . To add insult to injury I couldn't lie down on the tri-bars today because of severe stomach cramps , so I had to contend with riding into the wind , sitting up which is pretty energy sapping . The best part was the ride along Loch Ness which I`d been dreaming about but was blinded by the pain in my stomach so I never saw "the Loch Ness monster" . :-)

Loch Ness

23rd Sept Brora - Inverness 57 miles .

Day 2 ... done ! After overdoing it a bit in yesterdays headwinds , I found myself throwing up at 3am and then again 1 minute before getting back on the bike at 10am this morning . Pretty tough day - actually brutal because I`m feeling really sick and I threw up twice more on the road today but I got to stay in an awesome B&B in LochEnd called "Kimcraigan" with a fantastic lady called Kim and had a great visit to Raigmore Hospital for my 1st platelet transfusion and met some great nurses too .

Glenmorangie Whiskey Distillery

22nd Sept. 2009 John O` Groats - Brora 52 miles . 

Day 1 ... done ! Riding into 40 - 50 knot headwinds , at times , makes it pretty tough going - that's where I expended a lot of energy today . I eventually got the van to drive right infront of me because the headwind was so bad - I was even having to pedal down some pretty steep hills in 3rd gear just to make headway but generally a good day on the bike . Not bad for a 1st day ... decending tarmac mountains at 55 km/h In the Scottish Highlands is pretty tricky at the best of times :-)

John O Groats

20 June 2009


Round The Island Race - Taming the ICAP Leopard
I raced ICAP Leopard around the Isle of Wight and won ! 64 miles in 6hrs was tough on me in my condition but "no pain , no gain" . A BIG thank you to Mike Slade and his crew for giving me the opportunity .

12 June 2009
Here we go again - Round the Island !
I will be cycling around the island this year to raise funds and awareness for Cycle 4 Leukaemia and the Anthony Nolan Trust whilst we take on the mighty challenge of racing ICAP Leopard .

4 April
Iron Man South Africa update
Nicola had her last training session this morning and is all ready to rock and roll in Iron Man South Africa ! Good luck Nix . You can track her progress To track her progess sms race no: 529 to 32069

22 March 2009


I have deputised a new member . Nicola Lockhart is a tri-athlete from Cape Town who will be competing in the South African Iron Man for Cycle 4 Leukaemia .


Saturday , 1 November , 2008
Today was the official start date of our End -End Epic adventure but due to health issues relating to complications post transplant , it is with great sadness that I must announce that we have POSTPONED our trip .
If you know me you will realise that I do not often fail  - so it is important for you all to know that the trip has only been POSTONED .
I am still visiting The House of Pain , Southampton General Hospital , twice a week  receiving platelet transfusions . So for me to do the trip would be near impossible , if not suicidal .
God willing , we have a new start date in mind which will be towards the end of summer , around September / October .
My Team and I thank you all for you generous donations , sponsorship and support :) I promise you that it has not been in vein - we have a long road ahead of us and with your help we will succeed .
Many thanks for your understanding
Mike Coburn .

Johnny Clegg

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Update on Mike (by Ollie)

Most of Mike's close friends know, but you probably don't, that he was unable to rise to his initial challenge to race Leopard last weekend. Not for want of sheer grit, determination and dedication to his cause. But because he was warned if he attempted it, it could certainly kill him.


Apparently Mike was not even going to let that dissuade him.

My understanding of the situation is that if were it not for Mike's doctor frog marching him down to the hospital for emergency treatment and practically hand-cuffing him to the bed, on the day before the race, Mike would probably have tried to do the ride anyway.


Haig took up the mantle in Mike's place and managed an incredible 3h57min round trip. Unfortunately he was pipped to the post by Leopardís record smashing 3h53min performance in winds that quite frankly I would describe as rather scary.

One needs only to see the toll that the weather took on many of the boats involved in the round Isle of Wight race that day, to realise how good sailing conditions were.

From my vantage point on the Gosport side, there were 2 Sea-King rescue helicopters working all day plucking hapless sailors to safety.


On the subject of keeping Mike with us, he has had 2 really close shaves this week and is in critical condition tonight still.


I know I speak for everyone when I say that we are hoping and praying for a miracle.


In the meantime, the people that are helping Mike to fight for his life need more that prayers and positive thoughts.


The Anthony Nolan trust needs generous support from you right now .


Please, give generously.


And forward this web site blog to everyone you know.


This is your chance to make a difference!


Best regards,



11:57 pm gmt

Update on Mike (by Ollie)

Hi folks,


I feel compelled to post updates on behalf of Mike from here on in. Partly because he is critically ill at the moment, and not in a state to be doing this himself. And partly, because he is running out of time and something needs to be done right now! 

I make no apologies for saying this but, lastly I am doing this myself because Mike being the stoic that he is, I am sure thinks that his doing this would be perceived as him trying to drum up sympathy. If you have had the privilege of spending some time with Mike as I have, you will know that sympathy is not a word in Mike's vocabulary.

I do however apologise for my less than professional writing skills. What is important here is that the message is communicated. And I hope these updates will do sufficient justice, and that sentiment will prevail.




Sent: 29 June 2008 00:53

I told you, you wonít hear from me unless itís bad. Well ... it is ...
For the past 3 weeks Iíve been struggling with everything ; walking , running , sitting down , getting up,  ... everything :-) So I thought man Iím just getting old and the aches and pains were from sleeping wrong. But then I got to thinking "dude, how did you fuck that up - itís a lie down thing! All you have to do is lay down, the bed company didnít even give you instructions with it because itís that simple!"

So for a 2nd opinion I went to see Doc Hollywood on Thursday, where I was sat down and told that my fears had been realised. I was in serious trouble; the bruising I had noticed was in fact spontaneous bleeding, as I had a platelet count of 2. :-o !!! It was like being punched in the stomach with a wrecking ball, I just felt all cold and thought, how did this happen? Well, I have a virus which is consuming all my platelets - so I was admitted straight into the House of Pain, (I swear I thought (well actually wished) Iíd never see the inside of that place again) and given a drip full of drugs to try combat what was going on .
Friday dawned with the stark realisation that the drip hadnít even touched sides and I was in fact getting worse! The good news was though I COULD HAVE ENTERNOX GAS AGAIN (Always looking for the positive in every negative:-)) because they were giving me a bone marrow biopsy immediately - this was really no messing around. The bad news was they were going to have to try something else which would keep me in the House of Pain for a further 4 days at least which is where I am now :(.
If youíve seen our website you would have noticed that this weekend we were suppose to be racing Leopard around the Isle of Wight , foolishly I thought Doc Hollywood would let me go and do it if I promised to be careful and come straight back :-) ... WRONG! Normally she is quite witty with me and when I told her of my intentions , she put her head down on the desk and without even breathing , sat up , looked straight at me and said ; I donít think you realise how serious this is Michael - you could die !!! Man alive, she had never ever said that to me before - not even when I was 1st diagnosed 4 years ago. This was very very serious. 
Now I have 6 drips a day for 8 hours and hopefully the situation will improve because if it doesnít and you know anything about a low platelet count and spontaneous bleeding territory - you will know I am in grave danger and I have a bit on.
So on we go straight uphill, which is the only way Iíd like it.
Make every obstacle an opportunity.
Go well.

Mike .

Sent: 06 July 2008 00:29

Ö.Iím not even going to begin to try be funny.
I didnít think it could get worse but it has. I was admitted as an extreme emergency on Friday evening with a platelet count of zero and a loss of 2 pints of blood through internal haemorrhaging. Very very serious - in fact life threatening is probably an understatement. I thought it was before but this took the cake. So much so that when I saw my doctor she refused to let me out of her sight.

They started straight away on emergency treatment but that comes at a cost ... it arenít permanent. So sooner or later they will have to stop it.
You may not understand this but against everything I discharged myself from hospital tonight. I will go back for the next 2 days for treatment but the truth is I might be losing this battle - people die in that place. Being so close I can almost reach out and touch it is frightening, so if it comes looking for me Iíd rather be at home.
Please is very close to my heart and I know if anything happens to me my Team will continue with it. This e-mail goes to over 200 people now and only 2 of you have donated anything. 
This is your chance to make a difference.  Pass it onto your friends, get them to donate - every little bit is important.
Go well

11:33 pm gmt

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Mike on steroids

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