Andy Salmon, a 53 year old university lecturer at Birmingham City University, is all set for a 300 mile (482 km) cycle ride to Paris all the way from London. He is cycling in a bid to raise money for a UK-based blood cancer charity, Cure Leukemia. He also intends to showcase the power of a plant-based diet by pulling off this challenging feat.
Andy enjoys everything from porridge to pasta but follows a strict plant-based regime and agrees that his athletic abilities have improved markedly ever since he went vegan. He never intended to transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle but an educational video on Instagram changed his mind. He quit meat and soon afterwards, all animal derived products. He chose his daughter’s birthday to make the transition official and since then has never looked back.
“I truly believe that my body gets everything it needs from a vegan diet and my cycling performance continues to improve. I don’t get concerned about protein intake; in fact one of my favorite sources of protein is soy yoghurt. You don’t need to be an expert – there is an abundance of great advice available online like The Vegan Society’s Vegan and Thriving page, which breaks down plant-based nutrition into practical tips,” he said.
Andy also has a personal motivation behind the ride. He lost his dear friend to leukemia not too long ago and considers it a privilege to be able to raise money in memory of him.
Andy is currently getting himself ready for the feat by riding 70 miles every week on his road bike and specific training thrice a week using his exercise bike. Come September, he wishes to be at his best shape.
“Our Vegan and Thriving campaign is all about helping you to live life to the fullest – no matter your age or lifestyle – and Andy is living proof of that! It’s great to see that he is so nourished by his vegan diet that he’s going into this incredibly tough challenge so confident. We have no doubts that Andy will smash his challenge and raise awareness of the benefits of vegan diets,” Elena Orde, spokesperson of The Vegan Society said.
Funds raised would go towards funding specialist research nurses across all 12 blood cancer centers in the UK.