We only went and bloomin' did it!!
Tony and I set off from a chilly Edinburgh on Wednesday 26 June and started pedalling south towards London.
Every day brought a different challenge. Having got over the long drawn out gradients during the 90 miles of Day one en-route to Carlisle, day two provided even higher climbs as we crossed the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales in the rain. 114 miles later we arrived in Harrogate. More rain on Day three as the gradients eased on the way to Lincoln, although the last part of the 95 mile sectore was a steep climb for tired legs in order to reach the hotel. Day 4 was a virtually flat 92 mile time trial en-route to Cambridge. Awesome speed with a bit of sun to to encourage the racers amongst us. That only left day 5. An absolute scorcher of a day for the relatively simple 68 mile trot to the centre of London, encompassing a rather pleasant picnic in Epping forrest 12.5 miles from home :)
We had our challenges. Tony struggled with a knee injury for the first couple of days. Other friends riding with us also picked up injuries to hands and knees, with one fellow Samaritan being forced to retire with a damaged Achilies tendon half way through day three :(
The bikes took a battering too. We had a fully qualified bike mechanic with us, and most of us had to have major work undertaken to gears and brakes during the week. Punctures, shredded and stretched gear cables, and dragging brakes all featured.
The highlight of the week however was seeing the constant flow of donations every day. Reminding us why we were doing it, and driving us forward. There are some very kind hearted and generous people out there, and we know Samaritans are over the moon with the money being raised.
the challenge is still not over though...
As part of Team Samaritans I will be one of 20,000 cyclists taking part in the 'Ride London Surrey 100' event on 4 August. A challenging ride that follows the Olympic road race route, including Box Hill... so there is still some pain to come if you have any spare cash left...
The dedicated team at Samaritans that we work with are a fantastic bunch. They have developed and deliver targeted training, and provide train crew the support they often need after being involved in such a traumatic event. This has always been about us giving something back to them, so they can continue this valuable work. Any support you are able to provide, would be greatly appreciated :)
Donating through Just Giving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Many thanks to all of you that have donated. If you would still like to donate, then there is still time :)