So as I promised in June Inspirational Insights, here is little bit more information about how far I cycled…
The cycle was created to pass through Glasgow, Oxford and London, joining together the 3 key UK cities where Ovarian Cancer Action funds life-saving scientific research. With this in mind, a 500 mile, 5 day route was devised – and importantly this is when I got involved. The choice of charity was important to me, as was picking something that would be a challenge – and dragging myself out on seemingly every cold morning through the winter definitely made it a challenge!
So, roll on the 28th of June and I found myself on the train towards Glasgow, bike in hand and hoping that the practice I had done was enough! No real time to think about that though, as by 8am the following morning we were already on our way (or we would have been if I hadn’t picked up a puncture on the 50m ride to the official start line *ahem*).
Day one was a nothing more than a brief warm up – 98 miles (!) – from Glasgow to Dumfries. Idylic scenery slightly spoiled by it raining on us most of the day, still not a bad stop for tea in the afternoon! (Drumlanrig Castle if your castle knowledge is as bad as mine)
Day two was a good solid 122 mile cycle from Dumfries to Preston, crossing the border back in to England (no passport required yet) and peddaling through yet more rain. This was the toughest day, due in part to the distance, but also the rain and roads – the fantastic company meant that it (sort of) sailed by though.
Day three was spent mostly on busy ‘A’ roads again, making our way the 120 miles from Preston to Ludlow. But this was more than compensated for by the splendid weather we received the following day as we cycled 105 miles through the Cotswolds. Stunning is all I can say to describe a part of the country that I am lucky enough to have (almost) on my doorstep. Day four took us all the way from Ludlow to Oxford leaving a rather short 55 miles for the final day.
The final day saw us cycle in to Hammersmith at a very resonable pace to the awaiting crowds (sort of) and to the news that between us we had raised over £30,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action. Not a bad effort all round really, but it made my walk to work hard for the following week!
About the author: Matt Stanford