‘Way Off Road’

Earlier this month, a member of our warehouse team took on a fundraising bike ride in aid of British Heart Foundation. Read on to find out more.

You know the story. You’re sat checking Facebook and something eventually happens to peak your interest. It happened to me a few months back when I saw an advert for the ‘South Downs Way Off Road’ in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Essentially ride your mountain bike from Winchester to Eastbourne for a bit of a day out. Right up my street.

BHF is a charity I’ve supported ever since I was 15 years old, when a mate of mine from school said we should try an organised ride instead of just dossing around the local jumps. Since then I’ve done a lot of their events and had some seriously memorable moments in the process. But this South Downs one sounded awesome. Big hills. Big distance. What could go wrong?

Fresh off the back of a three-day cycling tour, I set myself the challenge quietly confident in my ability …

Being from Worcester. it was enough of a distance to travel and stay overnight so I camped out on Friday night in Winchester about two miles from the start at the local playing field.

Now dead keen, the next morning was an early start and a group of us began just after 4.30am. I was in minimal kit, only a jersey and shorts, and it was damp and cold before the sun came up which meant we were all pushing quite hard to get warm for the first hour.

As the sun rose on the South Downs, the mist in the valleys was something to behold and yet after a chilly start, the sun soon became the enemy as we began to feel the midday heat.

For the first fifty miles the riding was pretty easy going, nothing too step and I was smiling from ear to ear. A few of the guys I was riding with had stopped for a bacon sandwich about 10.30am so we paused to catch our breath and talk about all things bikes.

But that was the last I remember of taking it easy. From then on it got steeper and more challenging. Once we passed Brighton, the second half and certainly the last twenty miles were testing in the 30 degree heat but by now we could see the sea and the breeze helped a great deal.

By the time I reached the finish I’d been going for nearly 14 hours and despite the fantastic events of the day, I was glad to be at the end. I saw a few folks ahead of me and enjoyed dropping down from the hills all the way to the seafront. But with little time for a rest I was heading for the train station for my 200 mile commute home.

I had seriously underestimated how challenging this was going to be and all of the support and donations I received really helped keep me focussed and motivated.

Fundraising throughout went really well. I got lots of support from my friends and family as well as the folks I ride with and those I work with as well. After initially setting a target of £300 it didn’t take long to exceed it and I ended up raising £360!

My Just Giving page is still live if you feel inspired to make a donation, or even to have a go yourself!! It doesn’t have to be a big challenge but even just getting out with your mates and raising a few quid can bring more than a monetary reward.

Cheers, Justin.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justin-passey

Published: 13th September 2018