Gruelling 487-mile bike ride raises £3,230 for Wooden Spoon Kent

HAVING put in a fair few training rides during the COVID-19 lockdown, Steve Kyle, President of Gillingham Anchorians Rugby Football Club, was able to put together plans for a sponsored ride from Gillingham, Kent – to his static caravan holiday home in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland.

Initially scheduled for the end of June, the ride could not go ahead as the caravan site was not open, nor were there any B&Bs or hotels open to allow overnight stops. However, after some lifting of restrictions, plans finalised and the ride started on Friday 21 August.

Steve started the day with a quick dash from Gillingham to Gravesend to catch the 7.45am Tilbury ferry. With the strong winds from storm Ellen helping me along his way, he passed close to Brentwood, Stansted Airport and Cambridge before arriving at Stop 1 near Peterborough.

Good friend and fellow Anchorians, Mick Niven, was Steve’s sole support, and had sorted out both the accommodation and eating plans – so that he could concentrate on second day of the ride.

Leaving Peterborough after a good breakfast, great progress was made to Lincoln with the elevated Cathedral looking spectacular in some brief sunshine. The next target was to cut between Doncaster and Scunthorpe to get to Selby in West Yorkshire for the second overnight stop. The pair arrived at 6.30 pm having an impressive 260 miles under their belt! Steve said

“Day 3 was always going to be a hard ride, as the undulating Dales and the climb over the Pennines meant a lot of ‘up hill’! Passed through a lovely North Yorkshire town Richmond, and then the  ‘heavens opened‘ and for the first time I was drenched – with little option other than having to ride through the discomfort. A very wet and unpleasant finish to a tough ride saw me making the Hotel in Alston just before it got dark.”

The beauty and bleakness of the Pennines!

Steve said:

“The last stage saw an improvement in the weather, and whilst against the wind for most of the way, at least I stayed dry! Arrived at Gretna Green and The Scottish border around 1.00 pm, and then completed the last part of the trek, arriving at my destination on Monday 24th August at 6.30 pm and totally ready for my first beer in 8 days!!”

An INCREDIBLE 487 miles done, 32.5 hours in the saddle, over 21,000 calories burned and a superb £3,230 raised for Wooden Spoon Kent. Steve commented:

“The decision to look to raise money for such a great charity certainly gave my ride focus and purpose and I’ve genuinely been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people – thank you to you all!!”

To support Steve’s fantastic fundraising, please click here.

If you would like to fundraise for Wooden Spoon, click here. Alternatively, you can make a donation or become a member for just £5 per month.