On Saturday 29th June Dave Boulton and a group of friends set off on an epic 13 day cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in memory of Jack Boulton. The ride raised a wonderful £24,000 for the Jack Boulton Memorial Fund.
You can read Dave’s summary of the challenge below but if you would like to read the full blog please go to http://cryride.co.uk/.
How did it all start?
Like most of these crazy ideas, over a few beers one night we were sure we wanted to take on a worthwhile cycle challenge. It was in memory of Jack (my son) and to raise monies for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) that was certain.
Jack, who was 17, collapsed and died during football training in Saltford on August 19th 2009. Jack’s death was as a result of a sudden cardiac arrest.
Jack was a talented sportsman and had a bright academic future ahead of him. He attended the sixth-form at Wellsway School and played football for Keynsham and Saltford football clubs, cricket for Keynsham cricket club and was junior captain at Saltford golf club.
We discussed a number of options including organised events (e.g. London to Paris) and far and wide trips thru Europe etc. We quickly decided to cycle across UK and having looked at tour operators (minimum sponsorship £3.5k per individual) we agreed to fund expenses for the trip ourselves and organise it?
Alan, Chris and I knew other work colleagues (from Unum our employer) who would be interested in such a challenge. Initially we were a team of 8 cyclists and Rod Mills who was more than happy to drive a support vehicle for the whole trip. The team grew by a newcomer, Jason (from outside Unum). With reservations at first and not knowing him, Jason turned out to be a great asset – he runs his own business and always ‘knew a man who can help?’
Rod Mills (Logistics Director) ; Dave Boulton ; Chris Murphy ; Mark Dolphin ; Alan Doran ; Richard Clements ; Graeme Short; John Cross ; Stephen Bignell. Jason Perkins
How did we decide the route?
Various references (web sites, blogs, and books) were considered. We felt 80-100 miles a day seemed reasonable in about 2 weeks. John volunteered to map out the route and studied ordnance maps for hours together with the handy guidebook: End to End Cycle route (Cicerone Guide) or the ‘Cicerone’ book for short. Thankfully the route (primarily avoiding A roads) was translated to GPS files and loaded onto Garmins for the challenge
How did we promote it?
Our initial target was £5,000 and we raised this amount over several different occasions.
We created our own facebook page, twitter account; web site (http://cryride.co.uk/) and Virgin Giving site http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cryride. Local press (Bath Chronicle, ‘The Week In’ Keynsham Voice) gave us good coverage and I was interviewed on the John Darvel morning show on Radio Bristol.
We held a quiz night, CRY collection tubs were placed around Keynsham and we had a great quality ‘auction’ night that raised about £3,000.
How did we prepare for the trip?
Rod’s budget proposal indicated that we all needed to pay about £1,300 each to fund trip. This would cover all travel and accommodation costs. A CRYride bank account was set up and we all put aside a monthly amount.
How did we get fit?
Most of us cycled to work anyway and after Xmas we upped the weekend rides with a number of organised events culminating in the infamous Dragon Ride (130 miles) across the Brecon Beacons
The trip itself?
Saturday 29th June 2013 saw 10 friends arrive at Land’s End on what was to be an epic 13 day trip to John O’Groats, for 2 weeks of the finest weather the UK has seen in 7 years
Perhaps the highlight and the most overwhelming was Day 4 and the magnificent reception at Wellsway School and mini CRYride (organised by Lou Riddoch)
How did we feel?
After 13 days we arrived at John O’Groats, brilliant weather, one broken bike, one broken gear changer, a few sore bottoms, but 10 people who had a life changing experience
It’s a classic challenge that leaves you with an incredible sense of self- achievement !!
We smashed our fundraising target and the fund stands at an incredible £24,000
We would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support and wonderful donations.
What next?? Will we do something similar?
We need to have a couple of beers one night………
All our partners and sponsors for their support and understanding
Cyclists who joined us :
Day 4 : June Boulton, Kathryn Knibbs (my sister), Angela Nicholson, Mark Wickham, Nick Walters plus SAS members Beth & Sophie Taylor, Darren Taylor & Richard James
Days 4 & 5: Anthony Heckersley
Days 5 & 6: Ralph Knibbs (brother in law) and Steve Messam”