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The reason for the ride is my Dad Cyril (Sid) Johansen spent his last weeks at St. Wilfrid’s before passing away on June 8th 2016. The quality of the facilities at the hospice and the care he received from the fantastic staff exceeded all expectations. I know it provided huge comfort for my Mum knowing my Dad was looked after so well and I’m certain everything was done to make him as comfortable as possible during those difficult times.
I’ve always felt I’d like to give something back to the hospice to say thank you and as a keen cyclist, a sponsored cycle ride seemed the obvious choice. And so early on the morning of June 10th I will be setting off from my Dad’s birth town of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, and heading South back to St. Wilfrid’s in Eastbourne. I will be accompanied by my good friend Ian Carlton with my wife Clare and Mum Eileen following our progress in the support car – providing refreshments and much needed moral support. Ian's mother-in-law (Ann Furphy) was also cared for by St. Wilfrid's in 2008 which gives him a further personal reason for taking part in this challenge.
The ride will be about 380 miles in total and we are aiming to do this in two days. A little over 180 miles on Day 1 taking us down to our half way stop in Lincolnshire, before starting off again the following morning for the last 200 miles. Neither of us have cycled much over 100 miles previously, so this sort of distance a huge challenge; consequently we’ll be riding at a steady pace and anticipate at least 12 hours in the saddle each day, with regular stops for food to keep our energy levels up (and no doubt to apply some much needed cream to some tender areas).
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