What is it?
Cycling the Season is my attempt to combine my two hobbies by cycling to (as near as possible) every Crystal Palace match during the 2016-17 Premier League season.
In doing so, I will be raising money for Contact a Family – a wonderful national charity that provides support and advice to families with disabled children.
A very rough calculation – over a couple of beers in the excellent Little Bar in Tooting – came up with a total distance of over 5,000 miles for the 38 league games (based on the 2015-16 Premier League teams). But given that was based on distances by car – and also doesn’t allow for me inevitably getting lost – I fear it will prove a significant under-estimate.
Who am I?
My name is Stephen Kingdom. I’m 46 years old, married to Janet, with two children – Hannah (aged 5) and Gilbert (3) and two cats (Molly and Aki). Janet and I are both Crystal Palace fans (that was how we met) but the cycling thing is just me. I recently took a voluntary severance package from my job and decided to have a year’s ‘sabbatical’ before returning to the world of work. And this is how I’m planning on spending it.
We live in Cheam – which is about 7.5 miles from Selhurst Park by bike. According to google maps, it’s 331 miles to the Stadium of Light. Ho hum…
Some ground rules
When I was discussing the plan with my Janet, she said I wasn’t to be anal or pedantic about it (sometimes I wonder if she knows me at all…) She wisely cautioned that it might not prove possible to do every game there and back – the fixture list may just make it impossible; extreme weather could have an impact and I don’t want to miss my children’s birthdays or Christmas. But those caveats not withstanding, my aim is to get on my bike to every Palace Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup game and – if we qualify – all home Europa Cup games (away European games would be a step too far).
How to donate
If you’d like to sponsor my challenge, I have the obligatory just giving page.
I shall blog occasionally over the next couple of months on preparations and other things; and then will more frequently when the new season – and the cycling – starts.