Part of Your Community

Local News

500 miles, five nations

David Bailey, Stuart Millward, Dan Labella, Graham Stanton, Rob Bradley present their cheque

After months of training, preparation and genuine apprehension the big day was upon us…….500 miles across the 5 home nations lay ahead.

Challenge number one, getting to The Railway pub in Marple for 4.45am in time for the Grand Depart at 5am.  With the support van loaded with more food than the local supermarket we were off to Holyhead with 133 miles to cover.  Despite the rather undulating profile across the Welsh hills, the odd stray sheep and irrational motorist we made the ferry in good time…….which is more than can be said for Stage 2 the following day……… after a few impromptu trips down the hard shoulder on the dual carriageways of Ireland we were on course to cover the Dublin to Belfast Port 100 miles with relative ease.   However, after taking a wrong turn in the city centre an emergency support van rescue was required to make the ferry with literally 1 minute to spare!

After sampling the night life in the Scottish village of Newton Stewart with a couple of light ales to help relieve the blood pressure we were off on stage 3….the small matter of 126 miles to Windermere in the Lake District.  The potentially stunning backdrop of the Scottish glens was somewhat ruined by the driving head wind and horizontal rain…..our only salvation was a cup of coffee and a teacake, courtesy of our ‘man in the van’ at our first checkpoint in a bid to warm up our shivering bodies.  On to Gretna next, although no time for any romancing as we trawled on relentlessly through Carlisle and Penrith to be met with the breath-taking scenery that encompassed the road around Ullswater lake.  The mood quickly changed a couple of miles down the road as we were met with what can only be described as a wall of pain….the Kirkstone Pass – a winding 20% gradient– not what you need with 114 miles already in the legs!  

After enduring a ‘snorefest’ at the Faulty Towers B&B in Windermere we smeared on the chamois crème and set off on the final push on saddles akin to a bed of nails!  Seriously tired legs were met with a tormenting head wind as the team ploughed on relentlessly with the thought of finally peeling off the lycra and crawling into a hot bath providing the main incentive to keep the pedals turning.  

David Bailey, Stuart Millward, Dan Labella, Graham Stanton, Rob Bradley

On arrival in Marple we were greeted by an impressive crowd to congratulate us on our mammoth adventure.  A proud moment for the team for both the personal achievement of completing the challenge and the fantastic amount of money raised for The Christie charity.  The total currently stands at over £6000 plus gift aid.

A huge thank you goes to Sam Billington (our ‘man in the van’ support driver) who ensured we were never left wanting throughout the journey. 

Well done to all of the guys involved and a huge thank you to all those who have supported this very worthy cause.