Posts Tagged ‘End Polio Now’

First and foremost, let me express my heartfelt thanks to all those that supported me through my 550 Mile Cycle Challenge. To all those who supported me through donations via my Just_Giving page I would like to say a big Thank You: both the charities (End Polio Now & Bruce Trust Barges) and I genuinely appreciate it. For those who supported me during my training and the event itself, I also say Thank You: without you, I wouldn’t have been able to make it.

I’m not to going to make out it was easy because it wasn’t. In fact it was harder than I thought it would be. The combination of daily long distances, temperatures as high as 105f and a worsening of COPD did take its toll. But there are others worse off than me, which is why I take on, and complete these challenges.

While I will write a more comprehensive account of each day, this is just a brief recount.

We left Hungerford at the allotted time (mid-day) to head for the Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth where we were to encounter our first challenge of getting 6 bicycles and 7 passengers into a 2-berth camper van along with all the associated luggage and provisions including 18 Kilo’s of Bananas(!). One big problem was that the cycle rack on the van was only designed for three bikes, but with the aid of numerous zip ties, we were able to extend the rack’s capacity to 6 . I’m not sure if we could have taken to the public highway, but for boarding a ferry, it was ideal.

2013-07-07 20.08.00

Each day thereafter brought with it, its own challenges, low points and high points. The challenges, in the main, were distances and hills combined with high temperatures. The highpoint, for us all, was the reception we received from Hungerford’s Twin Town of Ligueil: they certainly know how to lay on a barbeque and their hospitality was second to none. The low point? It has to be me being taken out by a stupid driver who clearly wasn’t yet awake. As I was navigation round a roundabout, using the well marked cycle lane, a Renault 4 failed to spot me (a great big overweight cyclists in garish cycle clothes on a garish Colnago) a turned off the roundabout taking me with it. I was only bruised and winded but with a dented pride I just lay there gathering my thoughts before getting back up and continuing with my journey.

All too soon however, the ride was over and we headed back to England and Hungerford to a fantastic welcoming committee laid on by the local Rotarians and Bruce Trust Barges plus many more well wishers, all of whom plied us with drink and cakes (I think there was sandwiches as well). And then, it was over: we all dispersed and went home to rest and then rest some more.

Now the planning starts for next years ride……

Must Stop Cycling: Must Stop Cycling. . . .

Go Podge, Go

Ok, here it is. The event I’ve been wanting to kick off is to become a reality.

I moved into Hungerford some 9-years ago and have recently developed an almost uncontrollable urge to [do something for the community]. For those that know me, you’ll have already guessed that cycling was going to be central to such an urge. So, following on from the theme of another well know event annual event, I looked for a possible cycle challenge for anybody who wished to [prove that they can] complete the event.

What is the event?

Well, Hungerford is twinned with Liguiel in France, just south of the Loire Valley; so why not cycle there, and back. Better still, why not time the ride so as to coincide with the Hungerford Carnival? So that’s the event / challenge (the carnival bit is still to be confirmed). Hungerford to Liguiel and back. The ride will hopefully comprise of 30 – 40 riders (more if we can manage it) plus 2 – 3 support vehicles (to carry luggage and look after the riders)

The purpose of the ride is [in conjunction with the Hungerford Rotary] to raise as much money as we possibly can for two very worthy causes:

End Polio Now


Bruce Trust Barges

Two very worthy cause which will hopefully encourage lots of interest and support.

When is the event?

The ride will  depart Hungerford on the 7th July 2013 (Sunday) and return on Saturday 13th July, having cycled 550 miles: The proposed itinerary is thus:

Sunday 7th July

Depart Hungerford and cycle (60 miles) to Portsmouth ferry terminal for overnight crossing to Saint-Malo.

Monday 8th July

Depart Saint-Malo and cycle (55 miles) to Rennes.

Tuesday 9th July

Depart Rennes and cycle (86 miles) to Angers.

Wednesday 10th July

Depart angers and cycle (80 miles) to Ligueil.

Thursday 11th July

Depart Ligueil and cycle (80 miles) to Le Mans.

Friday 12th July

Depart Le Mans and cycle (110 miles) to Caen – regrouping at Pegasus Bridge before heading for overnight ferry to Portsmouth.

Saturday 13th July

Depart Portsmouth and cycle (60) miles back to Hungerford for end of ride celebration. If possible, we will try to coincide the home coming with the Hungerford Carnival.

If you feel that you might like to take part in this event, then please do let me know of your interest (this does not commit you) and I shall add you to the mailing list.

Ride Route 2013

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car, only a high will impress you, and you’ll have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.

Ernest Hemingway.