Octagon cyclers going the extra mile for Ely’s Foodbank

Left to right – Andrew Moss, Bill Perry, Chris O’Connor, Christian Griffin, Mark Bradbury, Robin Jones, Andy Skelhorn. Left to right – Andrew Moss, Bill Perry, Chris O’Connor, Christian Griffin, Mark Bradbury, Robin Jones, Andy Skelhorn.

Monday, April 14, 2014
10:16 AM

Octagon Cycling Club is aiming to raise £2,000 for Ely Foodbank by cycling from the Isle of Anglesey to the Isle of Ely over the late May bank holiday weekend.

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The group will cover 300 miles over two days, with possibly their biggest challenge on day one as they negotiate Snowdonia National Park.

They continue into Shropshire and end day one in Worcester. Day two takes them through the Cotswolds and into Oxfordshire, then through Bedfordshire and into Cambridgeshire.

Fourteen Octagon Cycling Club members will be attempting to complete the full challenge. Those who can not join the group for both days are planning to ride out to meet them on day two and return to Ely as a single group. They are expected to arrive at Ely Cathedral at around 7pm on Monday, May 26.

One member of the group, Pat Abbott, is unable to take part as he is a dentist in the RAF and currently posted in Afghanistan. However, he has obtained special permission to complete the challenge at the same time but on a static bike.

Because of the time difference, and the fact that he will have to avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day, he will finish four-and-a-half hours ahead of the group – a fact that he has been happy to share with the rest of the group during training. He is raising money for Turn to Starboard, a military support charity.

The group is self-funding the trip, including accommodation, transport and support vehicles. Local businesses are being approached for corporate sponsorship and there is Local Giving page at https://localgiving.com/octagon-twin-isles-ride

Robin Jones, founder of Octagon Cycling Club, said: “We have been in training for several months, riding up to 60 miles every Saturday and Sunday with spinning classes during the week.

“When it comes to event we will have to double that distance. As each rider will spend more than 10 hours in the saddle and burn off around 6,000 calories each day, it will also be a challenge to keep our bodies fuelled with the right kind of nutrition.”

The challenge was very nearly scuppered before it began when the organising committee booked everyone into a hotel in Bangor, Maine, USA, instead of Bangor in North Wales. It is thought that several members of the group may have signed up for the challenge in the mistaken belief that they are riding from Anglesey Abbey, just 17 miles away.

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