Twenty-year-old ultra biker to cross North America in support of her handicapped friend

Twenty-year-old ultra biker to cross North America in support of her handicapped friend

Press news

10. June 2015

Markéta Peggy Marvanová, an ultra biker that is just twenty years old, will start the Tour Divide, the world's longest self-supported mountain-bike race, on 12 June. By her performance, Peggy wants to help eleven-year-old Daniela (Dája) Málková, who suffers from myopathy, and raise enough money for buying a special double-bike for Dája. Ahead of Peggy there are 4,418 kilometres on bike, dangerous terrain, snowy mountains, desert, wild animals and nearly one month of solitude. She can take up this challenge thanks to support from the Duke of Edinburgh´s International Award (DofE Award).

Peggy will start in the Banff National Park in Canada and finish at the U.S.-Mexico border. The route will take her over mountain ranges rising to over 4,000 metres above sea level where the snow lies all year long. She will also have to face extreme heat as over 200 kilometres of the race lead through a desert. Moreover, Peggy will have to be entirely self-sufficient, bringing with her everything she will need, including equipment for servicing her bike. She will have no accompanying team and the organisers will provide no support either. “I have a special pepper spray for bears, but I hope I will not have to use it…” says the racer.

Peggy is a great fighter, not only with terrain, but mainly with herself. Overcoming challenges and helping others is crucial for her. She has decided to realise her ambitions together with the DofE Award. Getting involved in the DofE Award meant that Peggy had to choose four leisure-time activities and set a goal in each of them. Although she has been doing bike racing for only five years, as her goal in the physical recreation section she chose to finish the Tour Divide.

The Czech National Office of the DofE Award has enabled Peggy to cooperate with Tim Voase, Deputy of the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic, who is an alumnus and patron of the DofE Award and who likes to overcome long distances on bike. For example, he has ridden from London to Prague (1,500 kilometres) on bike or run from Prague to Brno (260 km). During the run he helped raise funds for charities.

Also Peggy wants to contribute to good causes with her performances. During the Tour Divide, she organises a collection from whose proceeds she wants to buy a special double bike for Dája. Everyone may contribute to the collection by buying kilometres here. On the website, you can follow not only the balance of the collection, but also the course of the race. Photography are to be found on our website here.

Already preparing for the Tour Divide has been a big challenge for Peggy. Training and physical preparation was the easier part. Harder was to obtain the funds and equipment necessary for the trip, but thanks to a contribution from the DofE Foundation, Pegy has succeeded. However, the support from the DofE Award does not stop here. The DofE Award helps Peggy make her dream come true also by mentoring and media support.

For Peggy, this support is very important: “I believe starting the cooperation with the DofE Award has been one of my best steps this year. The DofE Award helps young people to develop their talents and choose their way and goal,” the biker explains. “Since I have been involved in the DofE Award, I have been much more able to develop my talents,” Peggy adds.

Peggy has not neglected the psychological aspects, which will play a big role in the race. She believes she will overcome all the pitfalls. Her motivation is clear. While other participants focus on finishing the race, for Peggy the biggest goal is to raise enough money for the double bike for Dája. Since she was four years old, Dája has suffered from gradual weakening of her muscles. She now has trouble even walking. “I will be most happy when I see Dája enjoy herself on the bike,” says Peggy.

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