Over fifty cyclists from Ely’s Octagon Cycling Club have successfully pedalled 200 miles each in one day, raising money for two local charities. ‘The Double Ton’ followed a route from Ely, taking in Swaffham, Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Stowmarket and returned to Ely after 12 hours of riding in extremely hot conditions.
The fundraising group set off from Ely Cathedral at 5am on Saturday 30th June and after lunch in Gt Yarmouth, a couple of rest stops and a few punctures, returned to the Cathedral by 8.30pm the same day.
Most members have been training since January, with several riders going out every weekend come rain or shine, in order to acclimatise to the long distances involved. On the day, temperatures exceeded 26 degrees, with strong winds from the start. However, the riders were well supported with several water stops and van escorts, rolling in together to a heroes’ welcome with family and friends.
Octagon Cycling Club has raised over £22,000 for local charities following previous charity rides and is well known for its friendly, relaxed fundraising ethos as well as prioritising lots of cake on their training rides. This year they’ve already exceeded their original target. This will be shared between local charities East Anglia Air Ambulance and Beads of Courage.
Robin Jones, founder member of Octagon Cycling Club says he is extremely proud of the team’s performance. “We’ve all been training hard for this event. Some of our less experienced newbie riders have been riding with the club for less than a year and originally struggled to ride for 30 miles. After several months of endurance training and a huge amount of commitment, they managed to surprise themselves.
“We were all truly inspired by the stories of extreme bravery shown by children from the Beads of Courage programme undergoing gruelling hospital treatment over many years. Knowing that we were riding with purpose was a great motivation throughout the day.”
East Anglian Air Ambulance is the charity that runs essential air ambulance providing helicopter emergency medical services across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. Founded in 2000, they’ve attended over 22,524 missions across East Anglia.
Beads of Courage UK offers complete support and assistance for children with chronic and long term serious illness through Oncology/ Haematology, Burns, Cardiac, NICU, and Chronic Conditions programmes. They provide support to the emotional and social wellbeing of seriously ill children and their families, giving them recognition for their medical journey.
Any individuals who wish to make a personal donation can still do so through the Just Giving site at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/octagon-cycling-club