Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Big Bike Challenge for Great Ormond Street Hospital - JOB DONE!

It may have taken both Ian (@ian_burt) and myself 10 hours but on Tuesday (April 10) we completed a 212-mile static bike ride challenge to raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. The distance was the equivalent of pedalling from King's Lynn to the London hospital and back and we completed the challenge on exercise bikes (kindly donated by Bodyworks King's Lynn) in the Vancouver Quarter. We attempted the challenge to commemorate the second anniversary since Ian's youngest son Calum had a life-changing operation at the famous London hospital.

We arrived in the historic Norfolk town at 7.30am to meet Abbie Panks, marketing manager of the Vancouver Quarter, and we pushed two exercise bikes into position outside Sainsbury's. Then at 8pm, we started our marathon cycle. I had worked out that we would need to average 17km an hour to complete our challenge of 171km (212 miles) by 6pm and we started well and managed to clock up almost 40km over the first two hours.

From about 10am until 2pm we had a steady flow of people coming past to wish us luck, drop money in the bucket and tell us about their own experiences of being at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Some of these tales were truly inspiring and just highlighted the great work that happens everyday at the hospital.

From 2pm until 4pm there was a bit of a lull in the number of people coming past which gave Ian and myself the chance to catch up as we had fallen quite far behind. In those two hours we clocked up some serious mileage on the exercise bikes, which followed by us clocking up 20km between 4pm and 5pm, left us with a mere 15km to go in the last hour. We both thought this was going to be a nice easy stroll to the finish but it was a real struggle.

However we were both able to throw our arms up in the air as we crossed the finish line to (light) applause just before 6pm. It was a great feeling and I was delighted that it was all over! It was an incredible feeling and I was truly overwhelmed by the amazing support of the public who cheered us on, donated money and showed such in interest in the charity we were cycling for.

I do have to say a big thank you to Abbie Panks and the Vancouver Quarter management for allowing this crazy attempt to take place. I am also grateful to Bodyworks in King's Lynn for lending us the bikes, for the EDP for publishing various stories on our challenge and for KLFM for promoting our challenge on the day. 

So far we think we have raised £2,500 with donations on our justgiving page, gift aid on these donations, money raised on the day and (we hope) matched funding from our company Archant. We are, however, still collecting money following this event so if you wish to help us get closer to the £3,000 mark visit


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