THE SUN shone bright in Sanet y Negrals on Saturday as family and friends gathered at the Benimeli roundabout to cheer in three cyclists who’d travelled an epic 800 miles from Woking, UK to raise funds for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.
Kieren Clark (28), Adam Jordan (31), and James Robinson (25) spent a total of eight days in the saddle, cycling ‘as the crow flies’ with no support and adding in some routes to emulate stages of the Tour De France, with some climbs reaching 1,300 metres above sea level.
Setting off from Woking on day one, the trio cycled 90 miles down to Portsmouth and boarded the 32-hour ferry to Bilbao.
Despite booking the ferry many months prior, the shorter 24-hour ferry was fully booked and Kieren aka ‘Mr Motivator’, Adam aka ‘Yogi’ and James aka ‘Petit Garcon’ found themselves playing ‘four hundred games of Uno’ to take their minds off their sea-sickness.
Finally in Bilbao, relieved to get off the ferry and ready for the second full-day of cycling, the guys covered 100 miles down to Espinosa de los Monteros in the province of Burgos, Castile and Leon.
On day three, they covered a not-to-be-sniffed-at 110 miles down to Iogrono, capital of the province of La Rioja.
Day four took the guys out of Iogrono on a 90-mile journey down to Soria.
On day five, they covered another 110 miles down to Calatyud in the Province of Zaragoza.
Day six saw the guys ride 100 miles down (or rather up) to Teruel, a high-altitude town in the mountainous Aragon region.
On the penultimate day seven, they covered 110 miles down to Betera, crossing into Valencian Community territory.
On the final day, the thought of jumping into the swimming pool at the finish line carried the guys the 100 miles from Betera down to Sanet y Negals, where they were met by Kieren’s mother, Diana and father, Tony, who live in the village, along with their friends.
When asked what the toughest aspect of the challenge was, Kieren said they were lucky having not had to repair any punctures along the way, however staying hydrated was a struggle at times, especially given they often found themselves ‘in the middle of nowhere’ in the Spanish countryside.
In the swimming pool with beverages firmly in hand, the guys were delighted to learn that their sponsorship total came in at just over £1,500, nearly twice their original target of £800.
Having learnt through a friend of the care and services that the Arthur Rank Hospice provide, supporting people in Camrbidgeshire who are living with a life-limiting illness, raising funds for the charity was a ‘no-brainer’ for Kieren and his friends.
The Hospice’s care and services are delivered free of charge from the its purpose-built home at Shelford Bottom, Cambridge, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and in people’s home across Cambridgeshire via the Arthur Rank Community Team.
The funds raised by the guys will contribute towards the £7.45 million it costs annually to provide the broad array of care and services the Hospice offers to people who are living with a life-limiting illness and their loved ones.
Kieren, Adam and James started cycling together some three years ago and soon began setting themselves challenge after challenge, Kieren and James cycling to Paris soon afterwards.
When asked what’s next, Kieren said the guys are thinking of cycling ‘6 countries in 6 days’ in 2018, but also said they are open to suggestions!
Kieran, Adam and James express their greatest thanks to their sponsors and to Kieren’s wife, Aimee, who brought their bike boxes to Spain on a slightly more comfortable and considerably shorter journey by plane.