A message from Ted, our Chair of Trustees, on completing his gruelling fundraising Scottish bike ride:
“Well, the 65 year old in Lycra made it to John o’ Groats and had a wonderful experience along the way despite plenty of cold rain, unkind headwinds, bumpy roads, steep hills and muddy campsites. The cycling was tough. The 6ft x 4ft tent and the 4.30/5.30 starts in kit still wet from the day before were tougher. The camaraderie, determination and true grit of the 850 riders was the stuff of legend and the Threshold Sports team was unstintingly efficient, smiling and motivating throughout, despite having to cope with the worst conditions experienced by RAB over the 8 years it has been going….and most of the riders were doing the whole thing, 960 miles from Lands End over 9 days!! (rideacrossbritain.com)
A massive thank you to you all for your incredible support and generosity. Donations received are just nudging up to £15,000 which, with match funding will mean £30,000 for LandWorks. This far exceeds our expectations and will make a real difference to this wonderful project.
Some stats (according to my Garmin bike computer): I cycled 443 miles, pedalled for 33 hours and 15 minutes, climbed 23,141 feet and used 30,797 calories in four days (please never show me another energy drink or protein shake); no crashes and no mechanical issues other than a couple of punctures next to a lake which was home to Scotland’s largest population of midges; no injuries, just a few aches and pains; and an even greater understanding of the Threshold mantra “More is in you!”.
I thought it was just when out sailing that, unfairly, the wind is always on the nose. Well, it applies to cycling as well and, contrary to my hopes that the prevailing wind would blow from the south west and propel me northwards, the wind direction was steadily NWN until the last 50 miles when we turned right at the top of Scotland to head for John o’ Groats, when it turned easterly! Days 1 and 2 saw gusts of 20+ mph, although it calmed down a bit for the last two days.
And rain…slip-streaming in a peloton is a wonderful labour-saving wheeze, except when the wheel in front is showering you with several gallons of puddle water every minute. And of course, we are all far too cool to consider having a sensible mud-guard!
Scotland is majestically beautiful. The sunshine on mountain tops and shimmering rainbows as we battled the wind through Glencoe and down towards Fort William lifted the flagging spirits. The further north, the greater the sense of remoteness. From Bonar Bridge to Bettyhill in the far north, admittedly 50 very early morning miles, we saw no more than a handful of cars as we swept past stunning lochs, tumbling waterfalls, isolated crofts and breathtaking mountain views.
The Scots (apart from a couple of drivers who put three people in hospital, one of them very lucky to be alive), were wonderfully supportive, from the police who helped to keep us safe to the young entrepreneurs at Thornhill Primary school who all turned out with bells, whistles, flags and “high 5’s” to sell us delicious cakes and life saving cups of tea….and to make us smile.
I can’t thank you enough for your kind words, your generosity and your friendship. You made sure I didn’t give up, even on the steepest climb, the wettest/ coldest descent or the 4.30 alarm that was only just louder than the rain on the tent.
Tired, a bit sore but unbroken,
You can still sponsor Ted by clicking here to visit the Total Giving page.