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Cycling 600 miles for Prostate Cancer UK

 

18-22 June 2018 by Andrew Auld

 

the route cycled by Andrew and Rob across England, Wales and Ireland

 

In June my brother Rob and I set off from Ness Point in Lowestoft to cycle just over 600 miles to Dunmore Head in Ireland. England’s furthest Easterly point to Ireland’s furthest Westerly. We completed the ride in five consecutive days, an average of 120 miles a day and we raised over £12,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Day 1 took us from Lowestoft to Oakham – 133 miles of headwind through beautiful Norfolk, the fens of Lincolnshire to finish in the rolling hills of Rutland. It was more dramatic a day than we’d hoped as my brother had an accident which smashed his helmet, gave him a concussion and a bruised shoulder. After being checked out by a couple of ambulance crews, he gave himself the all clear and we carried on!

Our late night caused by the incident of the day before meant that Day 2 right across the middle of England felt like a big ask. However, we were being extremely well supported by our support drivers – Rog for the first two days then our Mum and Dad for days 3-5. They plied us continually with food, water and words of encouragement, all of which helped us roll in to Knockin, just north of Shrewsbury after another 121 miles on the Tuesday evening.

Predictably, the day we crossed Wales dawned with welcoming drizzle. This damp air soon turned to horizontal rain as we pedalled up the beautiful Tanat Valley and over the tops into Bala. Wales really is green for a reason! The rain continued for much of the day as we turned to the North and headed over the dramatic Llanberis Pass and down to the iconic Menai Bridge. It only gave way to afternoon sunshine as we set off across Anglesey to catch our ferry across to Dublin. After a break on the ship, we had another 12 miles to do across Dublin city to complete our 113 mile day.

Day 4 was a heads down kind of day. The soft Irish scenery was beautiful, but I was keen to pick up the pace and ‘get this ride done’! Our destination was Tipperary, but we had banned any singing of the famous song, so it was best not to think about the 113 miles. This was our fourth consecutive day cycling over 100 miles and we managed a 16.6mph average. Much more importantly, our online Justgiving total ticked over the £6,000 mark during this day – motivation enough to keep going.

The final day of our journey took us out into the wilds of the Atlantic West Coast. The strong sunshine we had been enjoying for the whole trip (with the exception of Snowdonia!) really added to the glory of the views as we crossed over the borderlands of counties Cork, Limerick and Kerry and caught sight of the ocean for the first time. The Dingle penninsula reaches out west into the Atlantic and is edged alternately with dramatic cliffs and sparkling white-sand beaches. The weariness in our legs could almost be forgotten as we pushed ever closer to Dunmore Head and our long thought-of goal. Welcomed by the cheers of our parents and a couple of surfers ready with a celebratory beer, we rolled to the end of the road after another 123 miles on the bikes. Our journey was finally complete once we had walked the 500m over the headland to the point where the last of Ireland dips into the rolling waves and the horizon stretches out to America.

Challenges like this aren’t for everyone. Indeed my brother made me promise to ignore him the next time he suggests something similar! However, having already cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats and now from East to West, I would encourage anyone to get on a bike and peddle at least part way through the wonderful scenery our country has to offer. The views really are at their best from a saddle.

If you would like to support our fund-raising total, then please give what you can at
www.justgiving.com/c2c2c2c. To those that already have, our heartfelt thanks.

You can read a full account of the journey in the loaf news on www.theloaf.co.uk/c2c2c2c.

 

Andrew and his brother Rob at the end of their 608 mile ride

 

608 miles

24,800 feet of climbing

An average of 645 new prostate cancer diagnoses in the five days we cycled.

An average of 150 men will have died of the disease in those five days.

www.prostatecanceruk.org