7th to 9th June 2013 - John Pye, Ronnie Fletcher, Mike Jowett, Mike Beckett and Andy Capes 'Bridge to Bridge' Bike Challenge. Humber Bridge to London Bridge charity cycle ride.
The ride began from the Humber Bridge viewing area car park at 10am on Friday 7th June, where we were delighted to be joined by many family and friends, together with a class of children from Swanland Primary School, to give the riders a fond farewell ! The start of the ride was announced by the Town Crier and was marked by the release of 437 balloons, representing one balloon for each pupil of Swanland Primary School, with a prize of a McDonalds voucher on offer for the balloon that travels the furthest within the following 14 days.
Day 1 saw a sunny start to the event with the riders cycling 100 miles to the first overnight stop in Peterborough, Eye Green. During the first day, very capable support was provided by Ian, the father-in-law of Andy Capes, who made himself available on a regular basis for refuelling stops for the riders. On the Friday evening, the riders were met by the "support crew" of Steven and Bobby Pye, who took over the support duties from lunchtime on the second day.
After a healthy breakfast at the Little Chef adjoining the hotel, day 2 saw a further 90 miles covered, with the Saturday evening being spent in Waltham Abbey where, once again, the support crew was in attendance, having been on call for the riders throughout the day.
The third and final day saw a more leisurely ride of approximately 30 miles, taking us as close as possible to the Olympic Village, Stratford, before our arrival at London Tower Bridge at 12 noon, where we were very pleased to be met by a number of familiar faces! After a photo shoot to prove that we had made it, we headed off for a well deserved celebratory lunch at Bar Boloud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with the day ending with a train journey home courtesy of tickets very kindly donated by Hull Trains.
We were delighted that Professor Raisman and David Nicholls were able to join us at lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and the excellent news from the Professor of further progress with his research work made it a perfect end to our journey.
Whilst the riders each had some experience of cycling, the event proved to be an exhilirating challenge, however, we were all inspired and motivated by the ultimate goal of the Foundation to find a cure for spinal injury. We all thoroughly enjoyed the event and are extremely grateful for all of the messages of support and financial donations that should result in the event raising in excess of £5,000 for the Foundation. Worthy of special mention is Mike Ward of Portable Building Sales Ltd, who continued with his excellent support of the charity by making a donation of £437 (£1 per balloon!) - we are very grateful for Mike's commitment to this cause.
Thank you to everyone who gave their support, with special thanks to my fellow riders, Ronnie, Andy and the two Mikes; to Ian, Steven and Bobby, the "Support crew" and to my wife Angela, who organised an excellent and well supported send off for the riders.