Next week, our first cycle challenge takes place, with 14 cyclists covering over 250 miles in England, France and Belgium to visit historic battlefields and commemorate the Centenary of the end of the first World War.
Richard Harbon, Community Fundraiser at the Hospice, who is leading this event, comments on the ride:
“The Centenary of the end of the World War One is a major event in 2018. Being the first cycle event the Hospice has run, I am excited to go with a group of passionate cyclists who have been in training together whilst raising sponsorship for the Hospice. We hope to make memories that will last a lifetime as well as raise vital funds for Hospice care.”
The route will be starting at St Christopher’s Hospice in south London, cycling to France along the Pilgrims Way. The group will head to Ypres and witness the Last Post at the Menin Gate; then through the battlefields of Ypres, Loos, Vimy Ridge and the Somme. The cyclists will finish the ride in the Forest of Compiegne, the site of the Armistice.
Richard added: “We have enjoyed having support from Letchworth based Trisports – Hertfordshire’s premier triathlon store - for this event providing advice and training rides led by Mick, shop owner and bike fitter. Mick will be also be on hand over the four-day ride as mechanical back up. Those interested in the trip can keep up with our movements via the Hospice Twitter and Facebook social media sites.”
Meet two of the cyclists who are in the final stage of their training for the challenge!
Antony’s father unfortunately passed away in June; he spent the last two weeks of his life being cared for by Garden House Hospice Care. For Antony and his family, the only comfort they had was the way all the Hospice staff and volunteers cared for Dad in his last few weeks.
He commented: “Garden House Hospice Care is an amazing place and helped my Dad so much. I want to try and give something back to the Hospice, that survives largely on donations. The World War One Centenary charity bike ride will cover over 250 miles through 3 countries over 4 days. Any donations to support my challenge would be welcome as every penny will go to the Hospice.”
Jayne Dingemans, Director of Patient Services at Garden House Hospice Care, is also taking part in the challenge. Whilst fitness challenges are not new to Jayne, having completed the London Marathon in 2017, other than occasional off-road cycling, cycling long distances on a road bike is new to her.
Jayne has worked at the Hospice since June 2015, having previously worked for a short time at Isabel Hospice and for many years at East and North Herts NHS Trust. She was one of the first to sign up the Hospice World War One Centenary cycle challenge and has certainly been putting in the miles on her new bike.
"I am privileged to manage the staff who directly care for patients diagnosed with a life limiting illness and their loved ones. I have never ridden long distances on a road bike before and has been a personal challenge requiring a significant amount of training. I am looking forward to paying my respects to those men who gave their lives for us 100 years ago."
To support Jayne’s challenge in aid of the Hospice, please visit:
If you like the sound of a challenge to take you out of your comfort zone and want to support your local hospice, keep an eye on the Hospice website for more challenge events!