What is Voltrek1000

"One day I will cycle here"….

This was the genesis for Voltrek1000. August 15th 2013. A moment in a day otherwise filled with gut wrenching chaos and emotional agony. The serenity and peace in this valley at the base of Les Grandes Otanes was the single time on that awful day when my world stopped spinning violently off its axis. The only noise at all was the gentle clanging of the bells on the necks of the cattle in their high summer pasture (can you hear them? - I took this video on that day), I had come to see the place where my brother, Mark, had died two mornings before.

It was my sad duty to bring my DNA to Switzerland. This was of course a formality as Mark had died as he had occasionally lived - in the glare of publicity coupled with media fascination at the risks of such extreme sportsmen.

The 48 hours following his accident were a maelstrom - I felt like a man in the middle of an earthquake that would not stop. Through to the kindness and care of the wonderful Swiss policeman, Pierre, who dealt with our family we were taken to the helicopter launch site from where Mark had departed on his last flight.

"I will cycle here one day"… It gave me a sense of calm to know even then, in the midst of such emotional chaos, that would be a form of catharsis in the future. It was a lifeline to a time when things would be more settled and the wounds might have started to heal.

At the same time my cousin Jonathan was going through a similar experience - except his was a freeze frame awful slow motion car crash version of the same loss. His brother Tim was fighting a stoic battle with an insidious and unstoppable cancer. A few months after Mark he too passed away.

Tim had a huge passion for cycling. Especially the challenges presented by the Alpine climbs and long distance challenges. He was in the midst of preparing for a London to Paris event when he first discovered his illness - a journey he was not to make.

The plan.

We are two younger brothers accompanied by some amazing friends and family - peddling our journey in memory and celebration of the lives of two very different men. But two men who were unified in their singular energy in life and the joy they gave to those around them - and those they loved.

We will spend a week cycling the 1000km from Shere to Chamonix.

From the beautiful chocolate box village in the wooded hills of the South downs where Mark lived, to the valley in the shadow of Mont Blanc were he died. Mark loved living in the area near Guilford so much, he was returning to the woods and sunken lanes of his early childhood - with its instant immersion in nature. The alps was his adult playground of choice - a vertical paradise where he could fly his three dimensional games - dancing in the clouds and the light - often by just stepping off a mountain.

Who is it for?

Mark was a proud Gurkha Officer. Working with the GWT on this adventure gives his family and friends a chance to give something back to the people and country Mark loved so much. The terrible earthquakes in April 2015 claimed over 8500 lives. As with all such statistics they are really just an audit of so many individual days of chaos and emotion - with so many souls suffering the utter desolation at the loss of other brothers and best friends….

 

Mark and Tim loved simple and effective solutions - and the GWT is by far the most effective and best way for every penny we hope to raise through this venture to make a difference where it matters - to the people of Nepal.