Oh dear. oh dear! Two years ago Lawrence Dallaglio cycled from Rome to Twickenham via all the other Six Nations venues to raise a ridiculous amount of money for charity and has asked/told me ever since that the next time he went on a long cycle ride he expected me to participate for at least a part of it.
The problem with Lawrence is that he doesn't take no for an answer, which is why I found myself at Pizza Express in Olympia the other night at the official "send-off" party for the Dallaglio-Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012, which will see Lawrence and Freddie Flintoff cycle between Olympia in Greence to Olympia in London in the hope of raising £2.012 million.
They had already reached £800,000 without a pedal spun by last week! Now, I've done a lot of physical challenges over the years, as Lawrence always points out to me, but never really one on a bike.
To make matters worse nearly everyone at the party will be participating in much if not all of the 2,872km ride, which is why they were not overly impressed at my whinges about facing up to a single day's riding with them all, even if it is 118km long!
Still, I was offered a great deal of advice during the course of the evening, notably concerning my backside and what the ride is likely to do to it. The words "padding," "chamois cream" and "chaff" were frequently uttered. Freddie told me he wasn't fit and he probably isn't by Fred's standards, but as he possesses the heart of a lion there is no way he will fail to complete the whole journey.
Lawrence, meanwhile, was buzzing, looking like half the man he used to be due to his weight loss since starting his training for the ride. I broke the happy news to them that I would be joining them, after all, for a day's riding, as a guest of my new-found friends from Halfords who have invited me, as well as two nights.
"Two nights," repeated Dallaglio. "There may be a few beers sunk then." I don't know about you but it's a toss up to know what is more intimidating: cycling 118 km with Dallaglio, Flintoff, Lee Dixon, Graeme Le Saux and various other assorted chums, or drinking with Dallaglio and Flintoff afterwards or, worse, before!
The next few days for me had better include some training, I guess, while the actual Cycle Slam for the rest begins on Monday from Olympia in Greece. It is a remarkable effort by Lawrence and Fred, two former England captains held in the highest esteem by the British public, and I hope that all Sportsvibe readers and viewers donate to the cause, and pray, if not for me, then for my backside and liver when I join them in early May!!
Halfords is the Official Cycling Partner of the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012, supported by Virgin Media. For more information and to donate, visit dallaglioflintoff2012.com