When I came up with the concept I had no idea what I was about to embark on, for me it was about doing a long bike ride, raising some money and altering a childs future. Turns out there was an awful lot more to it! The support I have had in putting this event on has been unbelievable. Really need to thank David Lloyd for supporting the whole event, Robin Palmer for doing the PR, Ann Marie for keeping me sane, doing all the artwork & design and generally being the strength behind me. High5 and Northumbrian Water for their very generous donations and Kaleel Zibe for giving up his time to Photograph the group. Another massive thank you is to one of my rider Michael, he lent us his van for the ride had signs made up and also packed up the van with all the gear and bikes, what a total superstar.
The list of thank you's goes on but I will end it there and tell you about the ride.
So we headed up to the David Lloyd in Edinburgh on Saturady 7th. It was finally good to have the whole group together. The group in the end was 4 girls and 10 men, we had a few drop outs along the way. We had 3 support Vehicles in total, the 3 drivers deserve medals for there efforts, not the easiest job following a pack of cyclists 200 miles.
|The ride brief on saturday night|
The ride started at 4 am on July 8th.
|Just before the start|
It wasn't long into the ride and the rain started, it seemed to get heavier, my thoughts at this point was this is going to be hideous 200 wet miles.
The views were non exsitent
But despite all this the group was in good spirits. As we got over the Moorfoot hill, the weather started to change, much to my relief. Our first stop was further on than planned, mainly due the weather, but at Innerleithen we had our first decent stop where I think most people had a change of socks and put their shoe covers on.
From this point on the weather just got better and better. The group really started to gel together, I had introduced a buddy system, this was where riders were responsible to keep an eye on each other. They had been paired with a buddy (another rider or two) the night before and they just had to check that each other were drinking and eating regularly, running out of energy on the bike is no fun and it can be a quick transistion from feeling great to feeling horrendous, shakes, sickness feeling like you are going to pass out, it is not a nice experience. Pleased to say the system worked and the whole way down all you could hear was 'Buddy are you ok'.
Unfortunatly before we left Scotland we did have two falls, both people suffered road rash, but both got back on their bikes and continued with the ride.
Our next main stop was Bamburgh, on the coast line, here I don't think I have seen so many portion of chips consumed in such a small amount of time, the word hoover springs to mind. But I must say they were most welcome. After Bamburgh we were homeward bound, here is a picture of some of the pack in full flow.
Need to give a special mention now to two members of our group Phil Gray and Robbie Elliott, here they are Phil is leading.
These two have an enormous challenge coming up and this 200 mile ride was really just a training ride for them. They will be cycling 3,500 miles in 25 days with no rest days . Here is the link for you to read more on this challenege http://www.robbieelliottfoundation.com/
It really will be a ride of a life time but at the same time they will be raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Break through Breast Cancer.
So 17 hours later we rode into David Lloyd and what a welcome sight it was to, everyone was buzzing and I think quite relieved to be getting off their bikes. Here is a video that was done during the last section of the ride and I think you can gather from it I was really very proud of them all. http://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/local/former-nufc-star-among-riders-in-mammoth-charity-bike-ride-video-1-4722901
I need to say a massive congratulations (again) to Reason To Run Guys. Matt, Phil and Lee began Running at 9pm on Saturday the 7th July and ran the entire length of Hadrains Wall, 86 miles in less than 24 hours, truly amazing here is a great report of the run from Matt http://hadriansrun.blogspot.co.uk/
Finally I don't have an actual over all figure that we have raised yet, but there is still time to donate. All money raised is going to a 7 year old boy who has cerebral palsy. Reason To is about a group of people coming together to make a difference and this year we were using our legs so Callum can get the use of his.