A summer in the saddle for the Air Ambulance Appeal

E Comp Nick Carey PAGDC is not just a successful Adjutant and Visiting Officer, he’s also quite the sportsman: an accomplished participant in Ironman and a past Great Britian Triathlon national team member.

But sport at that level comes with some risk. Nick says, “Having enjoyed both Masonry and skiing in equal measure over the past 35 years, in December 2021 the skiing hit back. As a result of a 100km/h collision with a fixed object, I was airlifted off the Swiss mountains with numerous broken body parts. Since then, with the aid of metal plates, plenty of nuts and bolts and some very good medical professionals, I have been healing.”

Finally, in May, he had a last operation to remove all the metalwork and restore his body to its natural state. Clearly not being one to sit in bed, Comp Nick decided it was time for an appropriately epic challenge. “I was looking to put my fitness to the test this summer and give something back to raise some funds for Masonic Charities too.”, he says. He set himself the challenge of riding 21 of the greatest Tour De France Mountain Climbs, known as Cols, located across the French Pyrenees and Alpes. Or, as he puts it, “days of pain climbing mountains on my road bike without any electric enhancements and no metal in my legs, either”.

Comp Nick spent the summer in the saddle, all in aid of Freemasonry’s London’s Air Ambulance Appeal, with much support from Metropolitan Grand Charity Steward, E Comp Paul King, and his dedicated team. Somehow, not challenged enough by his original target, he ultimately conquered no fewer than 34 Tour de France climbs between 27th July and 10th August 2023, including some of the most challenging on the Tour circuit, like Mount Ventoux and Col du Tourmalet. In the process, he has so far raised £1,590 for the Appeal.

Says Comp Nick, “There aren’t so many climbs on my bucket list now”, but he’s not stopping just yet. By the time you read this, he will have polished off his sports year with a short trip to Lanzarote in November, where he is following some of the island’s many volcanic mountain paths and Ironman climbing routes. He says, “I hope we can keep the money rolling in for the Air Ambulance Appeal.”

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 53 December 2023 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 53 here.