An epic 980 miles on a bicycle, hills totalling 52,000 feet to climb – the Deloitte Ride Across Britain wasn’t going to be easy.
But for Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead charity supporter Mike Gwynn of Lingfield , the backing of his friends and family, and knowing the difference his fundraising would make was the motivation he needed to keep on pedalling.
Mike was one of 870 cyclists taking on the epic nine-day challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats. For him, as well as the personal achievement of completing the ride, it was about saying thank you to the Queen Victoria Hospital which has provided his brother-in-law with life-changing support whilst he recovers from facial palsy.
Commenting on the ride Mike said: “The word I’ve been using for the overall experience is epic. It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done by quite a distance, and I’d spent nine months trying to get my old legs into some sort of shape beforehand.
“The hills are relentless, and if you want to know just how hilly this country is, get on a bike! To put it in perspective, we climbed hills totalling 52,000ft (15,850m) over the entire ride which is only 4,000ft short of twice the height of Mount Everest. If there was anything like a low moment it was looking at another very long, very steep hill when you’re legs are already tired, but the elation of having got to the top and finishing the day more than made up for it.
“The finish in John O’Groats was very emotional, such a relief, and made all the more satisfying by the ongoing supportive messages from family and friends, many of whom tracked my progress on an app throughout the ride. And of course raising over £2,100 so far for the QVH Charity made it all worthwhile.”
Funds raised by Mike’s cycling super-challenge will help the QVH Charity support the hospital’s facial palsy team to develop an app to help improve the rehabilitation of patients by tracking facial muscles in real-time.
The Tarana restaurant in Lingfield has helped Mike with his fundraising, including hosting a curry and quiz night and sponsoring a cycling jersey.
If you’d like to sponsor Mike’s challenge please visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-gwynn2