My enforced stay in Rimouski and an attack on my honesty has led me to re-evaluate my trip and this whole ‘celebrity status’ I have acquired, which was never of my own choosing. I came out of Asia looking forward to getting back to being able to talk in my own mother tongue and spending time being with people I could share tales of my travels with. It was all going so well…
Now I have been called a cheat and a fraud, told my cancer is not real and taken back to a period of my life I thought I had left behind. When my wife died in 2009 I had sunk into a deep depression and my life became a living nightmare for the next three years, involving drugs, attempts at suicide, and most hurtfully, the loss of good friends. In seeking help (from Christian counselling) my childhood was brought back to me (for the first time) and it was all too much, I fell apart. I did things I’m ashamed of and as time passed I hoped they would remain buried.
Throughout this period only a few stayed with me, remaining loyal friends. They saw my battle with both my cancer and depression, even assisting me to get help and much needed counselling. On one occasion I was whisked away to Spain after being collected from the cancer clinic by a small group of these friends, enjoying my first holiday. It was a welcome break from my living hell.
When I began this trip I spoke about leaving behind my ‘demons’ and finding myself again, in the hope I could put it all behind me. See: What’s it all about?
I thought I had succeeded. Now I’m being asked to give access to my past (and in particular my doctors) so that I can “clear my name.” Well I’m sorry, I’m not interested in clearing my name. Those I care about and who care about me know the truth. I will not re-visit my past for any reason, because I’ve worked too hard to come to terms with it, and yes, I have skeletons which must remain hidden. If some journalist seeks to expose them I would simply ask why, am I such a bad person? Can you not respect my wishes?
There are followers of this blog who have ridden bicycles with me when I have been having treatment, even going to the Alps with me. At times I was pretty sick. I’m called a liar for my story about riding 100 miles out of the saddle due to just having had Brachytherapy and being unable to sit, because to my accuser, it is impossible. Well there have been many times I’ve achieved the impossible, but on this occasion I had a team around me training for The Race Against Time and some are now following this blog, maybe they will comment?
Being called a liar hurts and by refusing to give him what he wants I’m leaving myself wide open. Well so be it. Truth is it may well not be too long before there is absolutely no doubt. I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to be gaining, sympathy, money, whatever. So I will make changes that ensure I gain absolutely nothing from my illnesses. From this point forward I will not discuss either my cancer or my depression, both of which I’m accused of faking. I will simply become another cyclist travelling around the world, which in itself is quite a feat.
I’m stepping off the media merry-go-round and getting back to what I do best, cycling. It is becoming harder and this is spoken about in my blog frequently, but it seems my accuser never bothered to read it. The longing for solitude again is growing, because I never have been happy being cast as a hero. I simply wanted to help others. Now (well when I’ve recovered) I’ll slide back into the shadows and enjoy the journey once more.
But if my accuser thinks he’s having it all his own way, I’m afraid not. Here is his document, which he didn’t even have the decency to send to me and the reason why my reply is so public. My responses are in red.
Doubts about the history of Derek Boocock
1 For lung cancer, the chances of life most of the time are valued at a maximum of 6 months, he traveled to 20 months.
A simple search on the internet and my own personal hero’s give testimony that this is not always the case. And it’s now 21 months.
At my first meeting on Tuesday 12 August, he also told me he had metastases that his cancer was also reported in the bones and teeth that sometimes break when he sketched too hard food! Following his accident Rimouski, he added that his cancer was now made in his brain. So he claims to have 4 types of cancer and all terminal.
The key phrase here is “had” not “has” – I do not claim to have all these cancers and certainly not bone or brain cancer (to my knowledge) at this time. Poor teeth is a side effect of Chemotherapy.
2 If retired Army, in principle he is entitled to a pension. As he told the military mechanic Rimouski Jean Madore, he would only have 9 years in the army therefore not eligible … It is not possible to know if he really has been military, it is a status that attracts people’s sympathy. Checks are to be made. His LinkedIn profile says nothing about it.
Why would a simple Linked in profile have details of my Army career – the profile has VERY little info, because it was hardly used, see the number of contacts. My Army number is 24449037. I joined the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in 1977 and served until 1986. Here is a link to one of my best Army buddies – we were both scout leaders.
I’m also in email contact with other regimental friends. Emails available if required.
And I’m pretty sure I get some kind of pension – but did I not say I very likely would not be around to draw it!
3 And he said that the cost of his cancer treatments have ruined before he left and he still has more money (other than 5000 pounds). According to what I know (check), England health services are covered by the state. But it may have passed through the private or that cancer treatments are not covered by the state, to check.
It is true that not all treatments are available on our NHS. This is why I went private.
But do not forget that he wrote on his website and in the media that when diagnosing terminal cancer in October 2012, he refused treatment and went cycling. So if it had debt of its treatment, they went back to the days when he was treated for his prostate cancer.
And I have spoken about this many times. My debts went back a good few years.
4 Before his trip, he was unemployed or self-employed instead. Internet (forum discussions bike UK), it says that he lost his job in computer it may be there in 2009 and he was happy nonetheless. ”Aim the 53-year-old train IT support worker says:” It’s the best thing That ever Happened Because It kicked me Into action. I Had to make a new career. “ Photographer scoops prizes in first year in new job http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/jobs/jobs_news/4528927.___Losing_my_job_was_the_best_thing_that_happened_to_me___/ There is no mention of his prostate cancer at the time.
Wrong I’m afraid. Different journalists will print different details and in this article they do speak about both mine and Caroline’s cancers. This article was written in 2009, which is a full three years before I even contemplated my cycling journey:
Oh and I was made redundant in 2008 not 2009. I took a lot of time off to go to treatment clinics and know there is at least one of my co-workers following this blog who can verify this. (Hi Jean).
Then he was on his own photographer for wedding photos. His company was Distinct Images (address: 40 Broadfield Close, Bradford, BD4 9SJ) http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(distinct-images)_137413.htm ”Distinct Images is managed by Derek Boocock and his image-have-been published in national magazines Regularly”
Err yes, I was a professional photographer…
It was also a company multi level network (Network million kg). Derek Boocock auf Pinterest (can not open my office link) de.pinterest.com/derekbb/ Derek Boocock | Self Employed Network Marketing Entrepreneur and Professional Photographer. Derek … Boocock. Life Quotes / von Derek Boocock.
Yes I dipped my toe in Multi-Level Marketing, and like everything I try to do to the best of my ability, I was very good at it. I can’t see where that is leading either…
It has three Facebook accounts. One of them is personal and not related to his journey. We see that Facebook friends are often connected to the Network Marketing or an environment where several autonomous workers earn very modest incomes. So as a professional who likes to make photographs bike photographer, he did not let his starting job and go around the world by bike as he says.
Hmm, I can provide proof of the sales of my photographic kit, (one buyer even follows my blog) along with my car and the house. It doesn’t take a genius to see I have only what possessions I’m travelling with. Of course I try to do work (and have done so) to supplement my funds during my travels.
5 In his interview for The Sun and also on his blog I think he said he was in severe depression following the death of his girlfriend (actually my wife of more than 20 years!) and also his cancer to him. And when he decided to leave for the world tour, his idea was clear and he fully recovered from his depression overnight. Is it possible to recover as quickly from severe depression? By cons, this depression has led him to mention the MIND foundation on his business card and internet and attract people with a public cause and not personal site.
People with depression need a focus to help them recover – I had a focus. Of course I support MIND, it is a mental health charity. But it is in the background and ALL funds donated are paid directly to the charity – nothing to me. In all my fundraising activities you will see this is a common theme.
6 I found his home address in England, it does not seem to be a house there (Google Street) just apartments. So he has not sold his house as he says, unless his address photographer is different from home address to check if it actually sold!
The address is 40 Broadfield Close, Tong Street, Bradford BD4 9SJ. Do a simple google search and you will see when the house was sold by me to number 38, my neighbor. I will try and contact him to ask for a photograph of legal documents to prove the sale. Many of the houses in this Close are indeed Housing Association flats, but not mine or my neighbor’s.
7 During my journey with him, he told me he was working on publishing a book. When one is terminally ill, it’s not the kind of project that starts, especially since we can die suddenly and no one will care for the publication.
What utter rubbish. Surely if you believe your time is short, then you want to leave something behind. In my case that is both a book and my story (including photographs), told through my comprehensive blog.
His blog is still very far behind its actual course, it may take longer to write his book for his blog. Yet it is supposed to live on donations from people who follow him on the net, so why not maintain its site.
I do my best to keep up and is this not yet more proof that I’m not looking to make lot’s of money from my cycling trip?
He told me he was interested in writing and publishing for local magazines outdoor when I told him that one of my friends who is a journalist could not come ride with us. Here two projects with financial interests that do not go in the same direction as the message he must live his dream (for him round the world by bike) before I die!
Yes, and more proof (if needed) – I prefer to earn my own money to pay for my onward travels. I ask for help only when I need it.
8 He often talks about the cause of cancer and depression which particularly which is also mentioned on his business card MIND foundation. The internet address of the foundation is not put on his business card. The link of the MIND foundation to give the MIND foundation of UK mental health and which is registered as a recruiter: https://www.justgiving.com/DereksBikeTrip is present on its website but not on the page Home and you must go to the tabs to find him. People feel they give to this foundation but it probably gives him more directly to the foundation by clicking on the links to its homepage. He has also received 12 donations worth £ 253.11! The latest donation of May 2014.
I outline the causes I support and tell people if they want to help how to donate. I do not chase people for donations – if however they want to give, the link is there. I reiterate the funds are paid directly to the charity, nothing to me.
However, this is the principal cause that promotes and that’s what attracts people to his cause…
It is not, nor ever has been the principle cause and I’m pretty sure many of my followers will tell you they have never even visited the MIND page. No, what attracts people to my cause is that I promote not giving up, be it to any kind of serious illness (including both depression and cancer) and that people should try to be positive in the face of adversity – that has always been my message and always will be.
He often speaks in the media and on his card business it gives more opportunities for people he meets. So people probably overlook his site but donations do not go to MIND. Here is his business card:
My business card speaks for what I am about – that I wish to help and inspire others. Is that wrong?
9 While riding with him, I told him about the virtues of certain anti-cancer foods and especially Dr. Béliveau special secret recipes and instead I received directly from him when my mother was in the fight for his cancer. Facts from several foods that liquid concentrates could not interfere in meals due to the large volume. I told him clearly that Dr. B. has evidence of many cancer patients who have stretched their life for many years eating only these concentrates. He has not really shown interest because it was complicated to do by bike, he asked me to send him e-mail recipes. I did not respond and I let him get back to me about it for testing.
I kindly showed an interest and you did not respond. Please explain this? What I will say is that I personally do not hold great stead in chasing off-beat cures, even if there is irrefutable evidence that they work. I have been offered chances of such many times. If I wanted to do so then I would have chosen something else other than cycling around the world.
Since meeting and my accompanying Quebec La Pocatière, he never gave me new, despite all I have done for him to make it known and to find somewhere to stay.
I found this man warm and very friendly. I find it hard to comprehend why he did not share his doubts with me and give me the opportunity to answer him face to face and I cannot understand this underhand duplicity. Is it simply because he feels I ignored him? If so I’m terribly sorry, my accident happened.
10-There is no medical evidence with him or online demonstrating his cancer.
The only time he spoke to me with proof is in the interview with the guy from the Sun, where he said he had with him an X-ray of his lungs affected by cancer and taken in its accident in Asia where he was hospitalized for a face to face with a 4×4. When donations from people because we are in terminal cancer was seen, I think we should have more evidences. It has in fact no evidence on him or online demonstrating his condition of terminal cancer. We can not trace the name of the doctor who made the diagnosis.
You cannot hide on the Internet. There are many links to forums and groups I have been a part of that discusses both my illnesses. I was the organizer of one of the biggest Sportives in the UK and stepped down in 2010 because of my illness. Anyone that knows me will tell you it had to be something very major for me to let go of my own event! Do a search, or if you are too lazy, here is one link:
11-I read the first few pages of his blog when he left in November 2012, it does not read any mention of his terminal cancer.
Taken directly from my blog: “This trip has been an incredibly difficult journey for me, of which I have described the physical aspects pretty well in my blog, but only shown brief glimpses of the real battle that was going on. Initially I didn’t even mention my cancer or the real illness – my depression. Believing I had to concentrate fully on the cycling and engage people with how fascinating this aspect was, that became my main focus when writing the blog. Yes the cycling is what most people want to hear about, so why bother with anything else?”
It’s probably (probably? Have you done ANY research at all?) true that he lost his wife and that he also was treated for prostate cancer, I read on forums of UK bike. But you can not see anywhere that is diagnosed with terminal cancer and no formal proof is provided.
12-He said Tuesday night or Wednesday morning (the day I accompanied him) that since I met, he had received several donations and he knew it was because of me. It came from the website vmqca.qc.ca and also my Facebook friends. If he really saw the gifts and people like me who help taking a day off, why would it not transparent with me and said that since the two reports in Quebec (The Sun and Radio-Canada) my meeting helped him raise $ xxx. No thanks, no figures, no news. It is true that I have asked him several questions, he may doubt me.
Is that what this is about, because you didn’t receive a personal “thank you”? Lot’s of people help me and I try to thank them, often through my blog. But sometimes I just say a general thanks to all. As I hadn’t even written about our meeting yet, of course you weren’t mentioned. Well now you are Jaques Anderson.
Doubts about his health, his performances, his words …
1 He said in an interview with The Sun he had 89 of VO2max (which number caratérise cardiorespiratory capacity of athletes who practice aerobic sports). I challenge him by saying that Miguel Endurain (5 times winner of the Tour de France) was ranked among the tops in the world and he had 88 He may have 89 VO2 max but practically very unlikely.
And in this I will hold up my hand and admit I was mistaken about the figure. Not out of deception but a genuine mistake.
2 During the interview he also said that his prostate cancer in 2005 prevented him from making a career as a professional cyclist, yet he was 49 years old at the time. There are few riders who are or start a cycling career 49 years! Furthermore, in the article mentioned above, he says he lost his job in computer science in 2009!
That is the most absurd claim – I have followed cycling most all of my life and I know what it takes to be a professional cyclist and that the professional career is (usually) a short one. I was never even close to being a professional and would never say I was, certainly not at that age (49) when no cyclist can compete at top level. I even told him I was only an average road racer and it was my climbing prowess (when I was fully fit) which enabled me to train with much better cyclists than myself. I was a decent amateur in my chosen field, endurance cycling, particularly charity events (Leeds-Paris-Leeds in 4 days, John O’Groats 1,000 miles in 5 days – these events are verifiable) and spoke about this. Also again 2008 was the year I lost my job and 2009 the year my wife died.
3 At the end of the bike course is with me, he told me he was a huge hunger because if I was in zone 1 heart rate (I had a bike 20lbs without charge while that with his luggage as he says weighs 65kg), had him in zone 4 (the heart rate zones are based on percentages of the maximum frequency of a person. 5 There are multiple areas by 10%, the area 1 is 50 to 60%, the area 2 of 60 to 70%, etc.). At first, I did not challenge his false claim, since he could not be in zone 4 in chatting all along the route, it is not possible to speak in zone 4!
What I said was I could not have ridden any harder! It was easy for him, it wasn’t for me and I put in a LOT of effort to maintain a pace I was certainly not comfortable with and I told him this. When I finally finished the day at Claude’s I was exhausted.
He said in an interview that he was a bike trainer before you travel, so he must know what the heart rate zones and it was certainly not in Zone 4 during our journey, especially the only indicator of the intensity of the area to an observer is the frequency of breathing. With just one efficient lung, he should breathe more rapidly than normal.
Which I did. Why else then would he ask me if I was OK on numerous occasions?
I remember the other time a non-loaded cyclist rode with me out of Winnipeg, he was much kinder in his pace yet still I struggled. Read my blog.
4 At the beginning of our day to ride together, he asked me how I did Km max standing on my pedals. I told about 20km. He told me he made a run of 100 miles (160km) as it had just been put needles into the prostate and could not sit down. Yes it is possible to ride 160km standing on the pedals, but it’s highly unlikely!
Ha ha, contact ANY of the 2005 Race Against Time people (I can give an email address) and they will verify I did do this. In 2005 I was, as I said above, a decent cyclist. I was also stupidly stubborn and would not accept what the doctors told me.
5 He said that at the beginning of his journey, he often was 200km but now he was no longer capable of over 100km. (in the same time – an important omission!) Yet to get Qc St-Roch of Alder was 130km. I told him that it did not make sense. He never said he was finished and exhausted, I even found at the end of the flat, it was still running at the same rate as the average of 20km / h we had before.
As above I could not have ridden any harder – I made the effort to keep up but had I been riding solo would have ridden more comfortably – i.e. slower.
It is not possible to live his daily journey on his blog, so no way to see the progression of his cancer vs distance.
Proof that you do not read my blog. There are many entries which speak about the daily distance and how it is getting more difficult for me – as this is a common theme. Here is just one:
According to my friend who hosted the Pocatière, he left La Pocatière in Trois Pistoles Thursday, which is a day of 128km. Yet he told me that he was traveling over 100km, he paid several days later and that his recovery was very slow. So he typed two days online 130 km, contrary to what he says!
What I say openly on my blog and what I discussed was that initially I could complete the daily distance with ease in 5 to 7 hours. Now my days (and certainly if 100 km or over) can take 10 hours or more.
6 It is not possible to see its log of trips made each day on its website (number of miles and duration). So it is not possible to see if the cancer progresses by analyzing commuting (distance, average speed, etc.). While riding with him, I asked him how he can separate the facts km on his bike and those made by car (sometimes he gets carried) as it tries to make a guiness record around the world. He did not answer my question.
Actually I did. I’m not trying for any records (can’t even think of one) but do remember telling him that to be called an “official” round the world cyclist you have to CYCLE at least 24,000 miles. I distinctly remember telling him I had only a few thousand to go and that cars, trains, buses etc. do not count. I also wrote this only recently on my blog.
He also said in an interview that at first he was often 200km a day and there is no longer possible. If this is true, why the information is not available. His scorecard shows no movement in Canada. It is unlikely that he be awarded Guinness records for his world tour since the mileage is not really verifiable (bike vs car).
What’s this with Guinness records? I don’t seek a record (and could NEVER obtain one) and as I discussed with him, you have to cycle 24,000 miles. I don’t need it verifying, I’ll know when I’ve passed that mark. He’s making me out to be chasing some kind of record – I’m simply wanting to keep cycling. Who cares how many miles? If someone wants to see where I’ve been, read my blog and click on the route map – which admittedly is not always kept up to date. It’s not that important to me.
6 He said in an interview with the Sun that he never ate in restaurants and living with only $ 5 a day and he also mentions on its website.
“I’m Attempting to cross Canada and America on” Goodwill “due to HAVING run out of funds. Donating just $ 5 means clustering I can continue for another day. ”
In fact, he told me that in Canada, he lived on $ 10 a day and that is the country where it cost him the most expensive.
This is true. What’s the point you are making? Canada is more expensive.
His recent accident before arriving in Rimouski!
He posted on FB that he fell in biking down a steep hill and that his tire exploded.
No, what I wrote was that my front tire exploded and I was thrown onto the road, scraping down it for what seemed like eternity. The bike shop can validate the unusually long tear in the inner tube.
He went to the hospital and said he dislocated clavicle and humerus broken ..
No I didn’t. I was told initially there were cracks. Later x-rays proved chips of bone with tendons attached had been dislodged by my dislocated shoulder.
If as he told me he has cancer of the bone to the point where it breaks teeth while eating hard food, why he did not more members broken after falling more than 80 km / h? In addition, his health is supposedly very weak, how can he recover with injuries as important?
Once again he is changing what I discussed, as he has done many times. Chemotherapy is the cause for poor teeth. As for why weren’t my injuries more severe, well I think they were bad enough but yes I could also have been killed. Who chooses? All I know is me and Jean went back to the crash site and saw that my major skin loss was due to skidding along the tarmac for many yards and my glasses saved my face, except for where my left eyebrow is still attached to them (kept as a memento). I’m told it will be months and not weeks before my shoulder heals, so I don’t think I got off lightly.
If he really has widespread cancer in his words, it is expected to stop its journey or go to his son who lives in San Francisco (he really has a son at this point).
No details will be given about my sons, (I have two) it is not relevant and very private. I will ride my bike until I no longer can and even then I will probably try an electric assisted bike to help me continue. I have posted this previously in my blog.
But I knew the military mechanic Rimouski using it locally, he wants to continue his journey by car because it has a high pass with a journalist friend of New Brunswick interview.
Don’t understand this. I want to continue by bike, but need time to heal – which I have to take. As for Jack, I consider him a friend and if possible will give him an interview. There will be no mention of either of my illnesses, past or present and not just to him, but now anyone else. I’m not hiding, simply changing my trip to be about the cycling, for which I hope no one can criticise me.
I learned from the media that his visit to the hospital in Rimouski was free and he did not have insurance (eg Blue Cross). By contacting medical personnel (emergency physicians and nurses) of the hospital, it would be interesting to know more about his condition of health, cancer and vital signs should be observed that link. He told the hospital he did not have insurance because he was not insurable because of his terminal cancer. Yet after checks on UK sites, I saw that it is possible to take out insurance as long as the care required are not related to cancer.
Which surely proves why I did not take out insurance?
According to the SQ, even if his story is false, it is not punishable by law because it does not directly solicit people, they are the ones who come to him. But it uses the media extensively by passing and his adventures. He also gives his business card that clearly invites to give.
No – it does not even remotely mention giving, nor has it ever done so.
He asks for donations to people and now he uses the health care system at no charge.
If I receive free medical treatment, then I’ll gratefully accept it. As I understand it, there will be some charges that my friends will meet.
Yes it is noble to go around the world by bike but the question to ask is whether people would give so much to the cause if they knew he was not suffering from a terminal cancer or if they would be in either “probably” about it ..
I think people are supporting my message and want me to continue. You are putting too much emphasis on my cancer. Let’s see if my followers abandon me.
I’m not saying it is not suffering from terminal cancer but has provided no evidence of the disease and in this case it be doubted. Its many forms of cancer (prostate, metastases, lung, bone and brain now) are contrary to the feats he manages to make his bike. The fact that many of his comments are unlikely and exaggerated his former jobs, leads me to believe that his story of terminal cancer is not true!
I’m not understanding this “contrary to the feats he manages to make his bike” as I do nothing even remotely out of the ordinary. My average speed on an average day is 16 kph if no hills are involved, often slower around the 10 kph mark. That’s not a feat, it’s a struggle, but one I still enjoy else I would not continue. Yes I can ride at 20 kph if I have to, but it is neither good or wise to push myself more than the odd occasion as I will pay for it. Give me one example of “exaggerated his former jobs” as I cannot see I have done this – I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my working life and have made no bold claims. And who gave you this idea I have brain cancer? I don’t (to my knowledge) and without being tested I also don’t think I have bone cancer. That was in the past but once again you are mixing what was said to you.
As regards asking for money, there is a button on my website stating that donating just $5 means I can continue another day. It is a request for help, pure and simple. Small donations are made from people who follow my blog and there have been some larger donations from friends and family. It is entirely voluntary. This is not related to my cancer and the message automatically logged with every donation is:
“To inspire others to not give up!”
That has always been my message. It will continue to be.
In conclusion I wish only that you had honestly written our discussions as happened. The changes you have made are slight and even given our different languages I believe deliberate, which have the desired effect of skewing what was actually said to fit in with this documents premise.
I ask readers to make up their own minds. The fact that I will not give names of doctors or clinics is explained at the beginning of this document and I would plead with those (close) friends who know why to respect my privacy and not discuss this, but by all means make comments, whether they are helpful to me or not. It is not satisfactory for many and I know this will lead to doubts, therefore I’m happy to just be another cyclist travelling around the world and will (very reluctantly) make changes on my site to reflect this. As I said above, you only have to be patient and wait for the truth…
I’m not going to devote any more time to answering this person, but while preparing a presentation for a school I realised the biggest argument has been completely missed. When a cyclist does what I am doing, attempt to ride around the world, he will get fitter and stronger as his body changes to cope with the cycling. I have logged in my blog from the very start my progress and the opposite is happening with me. I also speak about my breathing difficulties in the Pamir’s and the serious problems I had in Cambodia.
I have dramatically slowed down, I need to take much more rest and I need a lot more sleep. I’m still having a constant battle with my weight (the loss) and instead of getting stronger, I’m getting weaker. So my question is very simple:
If I’m not ill, then why am I not getting fitter and stronger as would happen to anyone else?
I’m done explaining myself.