Anna Shaw is a member of our Band of Sisters. Her partner, Band of Brother Josh Boggi, was her inspiration for signing up to the Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2014. Here she tells us why she is riding, and why you should too...
My name is Anna Shaw, I am 26, and on Sunday 1 June 2014 I will be setting off with 300 others to Brussels, so that I can then cycle to Paris. It sounds mad but it’s really not. The Big Battlefield Bike Ride is something I have wanted to do for a while and this year I have been so lucky to get a space on the epic ride.
Last year on Sunday 2 June 2013 was a day when words cannot describe how proud I felt. My other half, my hero, had just ridden 420 miles from Paris to London as part of Hero Ride and then finished on Horse Guards Parade with 1300 other people. That evening I registered my interest to do the same ride in 2014. If Josh can do it then I should get off my bum and do something to to help raise money and awareness for a Charity so close to my heart.
Three years ago, Josh was serving in Afghanistan with the counter IED task force, it was his third tour of Afghanistan in a job he loved and was so proud of. On New Years Eve he stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs and his right arm. Since then Josh has gone on to achieve more than some people achieve in their lifetime. He has an amazing attitude to life and is such a wonderful person to be around, words will never come close for how proud I am to be his girlfriend.
Josh is now training so hard with Team Battle Back which is funded and supported by Help for Heroes, he has his sights set on the Paralympics, and after meeting Sir Bradley Wiggins when he won ‘The Suns Overcoming Adversity Military Award’ in December last year he is even more determined to take his bike by the handles and beat every target he ever sets himself.
I enjoy cycling, it’s a fun sport where you can just go and have a carefree hour, being safe of course, wherever you are. I am not sure how I will feel about cycling once I have cycled 335 miles but it is worth it when you are raising money for, in my opinion, one of the most worthwhile and honest charities around.
I cannot wait to meet the other people on the ride, why they are riding it and how they got involved. Everyone who supports the charity, raises money for the charity, takes on a challenge or just dons a wristband in my eyes is amazing!
Josh will also be riding this ride again too; will I be able to keep up with him? Not a chance in hell!