Cycling heros

Envision’s first boutique endurance challenge has proved a winning formula for the charity and those taking part.

Envision’s Chair, Simon Lough, who personally organised the Event said:

we wanted to make this a very personal event so that everyone taking part felt part of the Envision family and really valued.”

Envision staff helped to enable participants to understand how the organisation works by giving them a first-hand experience of some of the techniques used to facilitate group experiences with young people. The three days started out with fun ice breakers to give participants the opportuntiy to get to know each other.

The Envision CEO and Treasurer joined a great team of support volunteers to ensure that participants were well fed and watered throughout the three days. Young people, supported by Envision, joined riders for evening meals so that they could find out more about the difference their funds will make.

The 28 riders, who between them raised an awesome £120,000 for Envision, cycled 250 miles on stunning backroads in glorious sunshine through nine counties on a route connecting the three cities where Envision works.

Riders were given a well planned electronic route map they had to navigate themselves and display the qualities Envision focuses on developing in young people – including teamwork, communication, resilience and problem-solving.

This short video, made from clips taken by the riders, reflects the humour and team spirit so much in evidence during the three days:

 

 

 

One of the riders said: 

It really had everything packed into it: laughs, aches and pains, sharing, challenging, helping and  learning. Like the young adults in Envision who tackle social challenges, we tackled this physical challenge and benefitted from a huge sense of accomplishment. I for one don't get to experience this type of challenge much these days so I am very grateful for this opportunity.”

The riders travelled to Bristol by train on the evening of Thursday 15 June, thanks to the generosity of Envision parter GWR.   The riders stayed Thursday night just outside Bristol at the beautiful headquarters of charity Penny Brohn UK.  The combination of Penny Brohn’s comfortable accommodation, excellent food, beautiful gardens and convenient location just off National Cycle Route 41, and a highly successful launch dinner run by Envision Bristol’s staff and graduates which educated the riders about Envision’s work, got the ride off to a great start.

  

  • The ride itself started early on Friday 16 June in beautiful sunshine.  Day 1’s route crossed the Avon Bridge and then took the riders on quiet country roads along the Severn and through the beautiful Malvern Hills.  The first day totalled over 90 miles, finishing at the overnight stop at Kidderminster where the riders were joined by Envision Birmingham staff and graduates.

  • On Day 2 the riders travelled from Kidderminster, via Redditch and the headquarters of Envision supporter GKN, all the way to Buckingham.  The cross-county route, planned by cycling expert Joel Demowbray, showed England at its most beautiful in glorious sunshine, and there was barely a major road or traffic light to be seen.

  • Day 3 was slightly shorter at a mere 75 miles, and finished with a memorable ride along the Grand Union Canal to Hyde Park to meet family, friends, Envision supporters and students in Hyde Park.  Students from various London schools where Envision works, including Bridge Academy, Paddington Academy and St. Mary Magdalene Islington, were among the crowd lining the sunny Serpentine to greet the riders.  The students sold cakes, samosa and other food to the riders and other attendees, in the process raising £200 which they have chosen to donate to the families affected by the Grenfell Towers tragedy.