Around Christmas a friend and I decided to cycle from Lancaster (my hometown) to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, a distance of 300 miles over four days, as my main sponsorship-based fundraiser.
After a few months of probably-not-enough training, the Easter holiday came and with it the time to set off. On a Monday morning and on the road cycling at 9am, we left Lancaster in a light drizzle heading south towards Preston.
20 miles in and the first disaster struck, with a tire buckling in a pothole after a rather aggressive manoeuvre from a rather aggressive lorry driver. An hour delay allowed the drizzle to turn into a downpour and eventually become what I can only assume would be classed as torrential (despite my non-existent meteorological expertise). Over northern hills we went in an easterly direction from Preston, winding through Burnley, Halifax and eventually up a hill (or possibly a mountain) to finish the day in Huddersfield.
After the first day, we expected the second to be a breeze – we didn’t think it could get any more torturous. Admittedly the weather picked up, only being cloudy and a bit breezy, but the number of hills we had to cycle up managed to increase. That night we stayed in Derby, with my parents driving down to meet us for dinner. Mum told me I “wouldn’t believe the journey down we’ve just had”, with my exasperated “try cycling it!” not getting nearly enough sympathy. The same description could also be applied to the final two days, with the third overnight stop being just north of Kettering and the finish line, the Sri Lankan High Commission, a road or two away from Hyde Park.
Both our Mums had travelled down to meet us at the end and came out of the High Commission itself to congratulate us, with several very kind and very polite staff in tow. We had quite a few pictures taken in and around the High Commission, stayed for a cup of tea and a chat, then headed back home and straight to bed.
As a fundraiser the event has been highly successful, with almost £2,000 raised so far. If you have the legs, the energy and the time, a long-distance cycle is definitely something I would recommend.