Time is running out for Macauley Cook but the Cardiff Blues ace knows any pain he endures on the #StayStrongForOws bike ride to Amsterdam will be worthwhile.
The 24-year-old will be joined by regional teammates Ellis Jenkins and Josh Navidi in a group of around 40 riders making the 537-kilometre trip from BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Cook is quietly confident he will make it to the Dutch capital but he knows he will have to dig deep due a limited amount of training.
He said: “I’ve been on a couple of rides with my sister but nothing major, I really need to start training now with a week to go.
“I’ve been up the Bwlch in Rhondda, which is a massive climb but not very far but other than that I’ve done hardly anything.
“Josh Navidi and I are going out on the weekend to try to get some miles in and we’ll see how it goes.
“I’m quite confident, we train all year round so we are relatively fit in comparison to other people but at the same time I’m quite a bit heavier.
“I’m not made for cycling and think my legs will struggle the most. But I’m looking forward to it and hoping I survive.”
The charity cycle is of course in aid of former Cardiff Blues and Wales centre Owen Williams, who suffered a serious spinal injury representing the region two years ago.
Owen is now at home in Aberdare where he continues his rehabilitation and #StayStrongForOws is currently financing the construction of a purpose-built house.
Cook has been close friends with Owen since they entered the Cardiff Blues age-grade system at 15-years-old and they owned a house together before the life-changing injury.
And Cook will have no shortage of motivation for the gruelling ride, which departs BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on June 5.
He added: “Owen is brilliant, since he came out of hospital he is doing a lot better. He’s in good spirits and has managed to get away a little bit this year.
“Rookwood was a tough time for him, he was in there for over a year and was in a dark place sometimes but now he’s a lot happier and I see him most weeks – we’re going out for food on Thursday.
“But when I’m in a dark place on the ride, I will have a little think about Owen and what he’s been through and power on through. In comparison, whatever my legs are feeling will be absolutely nothing.
“He’s just such a strong bloke and has taught me a lot in the last couple of years. I look at things differently now than previously. His mental strength is incredible, he’s an inspiration.”
To support Macauley Cook in his bike ride visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/macauley-cook